SpectraCell Blog

Telomere Homeostasis: Live Better, Longer!

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Fri, Aug 03, 2018 @ 02:01 PM

TelomereTelomeres are sections of genetic material that form a protective cap at the end of each chromosome in every cell of the body. When a cell divides, the telomere gets a tiny bit shorter, until there is no more telomere left to protect DNA from “unraveling,” and the cell dies. Cellular death causes the body to age, whether the cell is from cardiac muscle, skin, or brain tissue, thus making telomeres a novel biomarker for biological age. The longer one’s telomeres, the younger one’s biological age. Several things affect telomere attrition rate – both positive (good nutrient status, healthy blood sugar and lipid metabolism, normal weight, exercise, etc.) and negative (micronutrient deficiencies, inflammation, cellular stress, a sedentary lifestyle, etc.).

Telomeres over time

Shammas M. Telomeres, lifestyle, cancer, and aging.  Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2011 Jan; 14(1): 28–34. Illustration: Ivel DrFreitas MD, ABIM, ABAARM.

How is micronutrient status linked to the aging process?

Micronutrient status has direct implications for telomere length. This makes it especially important to correct specific deficiencies and maintain micronutrient balance. Measuring total antioxidant capacity via SPECTROX® is equally important as the body’s ability to handle oxidative stress contributes significantly to telomere health/length.

Why measure fatty acids?

OmegaCheck® measures the amount of three very important fatty acids (EPA, DHA, and DPA) in one’s blood. Fatty acids can either contribute to or alleviate inflammation, and the OmegaCheck determines the amount of these pro- and anti-inflammatory fatty acids. Although the protective omega-3 fatty acids influence enzyme and hormone systems throughout the body, they have gained attention primarily for their superb cardiovascular benefits. Since fatty acid status is a surrogate marker for inflammation and oxidative stress, it is not surprising that omega-3 fatty acids can slow cellular aging by preserving telomeres. When it comes to OmegaCheck, higher is better.

Omega-3 fatty acids can slow the aging process. There are many reasons for this: they reduce inflammation, help maintain the cardiovascular system healthy, and protect the brain. However, the existing research points to an entirely different mechanism of action against aging: protection of telomeres.

A recent study on people with active heart disease demonstrated that individuals with high blood levels of omega-3 fatty acids also had the lowest rate of telomere attrition, suggesting that omega-3 fatty acids protect against cellular aging.1 In another study, the adoption of comprehensive lifestyle changes (including daily supplementation with 3 grams of fish oil, which is high in omega-3 fatty acids) was associated with an increase in telomere length in human leukocytes.2 In animal studies, dietary enrichment of omega-3 fatty acids prolongs life span by approximately one-third.3

Yet another way that omega-3 fatty acids have a protective effect on telomeres is through their action on cortisol. Following six weeks of fish oil supplementation, a group of men and women in a study demonstrated significantly reduced4 cortisol, a stress hormone known to reduce the activity of telomerase,5 an enzyme that protects and even lengthens telomeres. Even stress-related cellular aging may be thwarted by omega-3 fatty acids!

SpectraCell's Telomere Analysis

SpectraCell’s telomere test measures a person’s telomere length. A control gene is also measured and compared to the telomere length, and then results are stated as a ratio. A higher ratio means a longer telomere, and younger biological age. The Telomere Score is also compared to other individuals in the same chronological age group.

The price of the Telomere Test is affordable and is also covered by insurance. Testing once each year or every other year is suggested to monitor the rate of telomere loss.

The great news is that with the telomere analysis and appropriate lifestyle, habits, you can protect your telomeres and reduce the rate at which they shorten! Discover your estimated cellular age today with a comprehensive, and individualized approach to managing the aging process. 

GET TESTED

1Ramin Farzaneh-Far et al.Association of Marine Omega-3 Fatty Acid Levels With Telomeric Aging in Patients With Coronary Heart Disease. JAMA 2010;303:250-257.

2Ornish D, Lin J, Daubenmier J et al. Increased telomerase activity and comprehensive lifestyle changes: a pilot study. Lancet Oncol 2008;9:1048-1057.

3Jolly CA, Muthukumar A, Avula CP, Troyer D, Fernandes G. Life span is prolonged in food-restricted autoimmune-prone (NZB x NZW)F(1) mice fed a diet enriched with (n-3) fatty acids. J Nutr 2001;131:2753-2760.

4Noreen EE, Sass MJ, Crowe ML, Pabon VA, Brandauer J, Averill LK. Effects of supplemental fish oil on resting metabolic rate, body composition, and salivary cortisol in healthy adults. J Int Soc Sport Nutr 2010;7:31.

5Choi J, Fauce SR, Effros RB. Reduced telomerase activity in human T lymphocytes exposed to cortisol. Brain Behav Immun 2008;22:600-605.

Topics: Telomere testing, telomerase, Age Management, Cellular Age, OmegaCheck, Telomere Homeostatis, Micronutrients and Telomere Length

Exercise: A Fountain Of Youth?

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Wed, Feb 22, 2017 @ 02:25 PM

Everyone knows that exercise is good for health: after all, it not only does the obvious (burns calories and builds strength), it furthermore helps balance hormones, lifts mood, and fights depression. Did you know that it also has a role in maintaining memory and cognitive function as we age?  A new study has shed light on yet another interesting way that exercise helps keep one young.  Researchers recently found that physical activity may help preserve telomeres, the strands of DNA at the end of chromosomes that protect genetic material from unraveling (like the plastic tips on the ends of shoelace). Each time a cell divides (a process that happens during cellular growth or repair), telomeres in that cell get a tiny bit shorter as DNA is lost, and shorter telomeres = faster aging. The cell is programmed to die when telomeres get too short. The cumulative effect of this process in cells throughout the body manifests as diseases of aging, and this is the reason for the preponderance of studies connecting telomere length with conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, cancer, arthritis, and other degenerative diseases. 

Fortunately, there are ways to protect these cellular “clocks.” Recent research suggests that a sedentary lifestyle is associated with shorter telomeres. In one study, scientists observed 1,481 older women (average age was 79 years old) and correlated telomere length with sedentary time. They found that among generally inactive women, the more sedentary the lifestyle, the shorter the telomeres (meaning they were aging faster). However - despite stretches of time engaged in sedentary activities (working at a desk, for example) - engaging in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity somewhat regularly appears to offer protection against shorter telomeres. In other words, 30 minutes of activity in a day despite inactivity most of the rest of the day (as in working at a computer or watching TV) did not contribute to cellular aging.  From a cellular standpoint, it truly does appear that a little exercise goes a long way.

Interested in knowing your true biological age? Find out with our Telomere Test
GET TESTED


 

Topics: telomere length, Telomere testing, Fountain of Youth, biological age, premature aging

Why Test YOUR Micronutrient Levels & MTHFR?

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Wed, Jul 10, 2013 @ 01:49 PM

New Grid 2013


Why is an MTHFR test important?

Determining your MTHFR genotype gives you valuable information about your body's ability to methylate.  Methylation is a crucial part of cell processes and reduced function has been linked to numerous medical conditions including neurological and cardiovascular disorders, mental dysfunctions and diabetes.  The old paradigm that we are simply at the mercy of our genes is now challenged by a new age of truly individualized healthcare.  Get vital knowledge for your personalized healthcare solutions today.

What role does nutrition play in this function?

Nutrition plays a substantial role in methylation pathways, and SpectraCell's Micronutrient testing can give you an accurate stats of 33 vitamins, minerals and amino acids.  You may be able to compensate for your body's inability to methylate efficiently through targeted repletion, and micronutrient testing will provide assessment of nutritional deficiencies.  The test also allows you to identify deficiencies in other micronutrients that can be contributing toward the development and/or progression of chronic disease and keep you from feeling your best.

SpectraCell Laboratories is combining the Micronutrient Testing and MTHFR Genotyping as a special package promotion.  To find out more CLICK HERE!

Topics: SpectraCell, micronutrients, micronutrient testing, Autoimmunity, cancer cells, autoimmune diseases, telomere length, Telomere testing, telomerase, B Vitamins, Antioxidants, Cardiovascular Health, MTHFR Genotyping, Genotyping, Heart Disease, vitamin, nutrition testing, supplements, Chronic Disease, diabetes, immune system, expecting mothers, early pregnancy, E-zinc, breast cancer, telomere, Elderly, Dr. Ron Grabowski, Minerals, micronutrient test, Nutritional Deficiency, Cancer Prevention, Heart Health, Gastrointestinal Tract, Hormones, telomere and cancer, Spectrox, Energy, Methylation, Estrogen, Immunidex, eczema and nutrition, Alzheimers, Free Radicals, Genetics, Dr. Eva Cwynar, Women's Health

Studies Show How Micronutrients can Help

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Thu, Apr 11, 2013 @ 03:04 PM

Vitamin D protects telomeres: a randomized, controlled trialTelomeres

Telomerase activity was measured before and after 37 people were given either placebo or about 2000IU of oral vitamin D supplements per day for 16 weeks.  Serum vitamin D levels for those taking the supplement increased almost 200%.  The telomerase activity increased over 19% as well, while the telomerase activity of those on placebo did not change. (International Journal of Obesity, June 2012)

LINK to ABSTRACT Increased telomerase activity and vitamin D supplementation in overweight African Americans.
LINK to FLYER ON NUTRIENT INTERACTIONS WITH TELOMERES

Vitamin C helps antidepressant drug work better
Vitamin C In this randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled trial, a group of patients with major depressive disorder (n=12) were given fluoxetine plus 1000mg of vitamin C daily and compared to a group (n=12) that were given fluoxetine plus placebo.  After six months, those receiving vitamin C in conjunction with fluoxetine showed a significant decrease in symptoms when evaluated using three different standardized depression rating systems compared to the placebo group. (Nutrition Journal, March 2013)

LINK to ABSTRACT Efficacy of vitamin C as an adjunct to fluoxetine therapy in pediatric major depressive disorder: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled pilot study.
LINK to FREE FULL TEXT
LINK to FLYER ON NUTRIENT INTERACTIONS IN DEPRESSION

Serine improves ADHD symptoms
serine resized 600In this randomized, double-blind trial, 36 children diagnosed with ADHD received either 200mg of phosphatidylserine or placebo daily for two months.  Those receiving phosphatidylserine showed improved memory, attention and control of impulses compared to placebo.  Serine’s key role in psychiatric and neurological health has been gaining attention from studies such as this.  The authors concluded that phosphatidylserine “may be a safe and natural nutritional strategy for improving mental performance.”
(Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics, March 2013)

LINK to ABSTRACT The effect of phosphatidylserine administration on memory and symptoms of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder: a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial.
LINK to FLYER ON NUTRIENT INTERACTIONS IN ADHD

Are micronutrients underrated when it comes to pregnancy chances in assisted reproduction?
pregnancy resized 600Several recent studies are suggesting that micronutrient status prior to and during pregnancy should get more attention.  One study showed that low blood values of B vitamins and high homocysteine in mid pregnancy reduced fetal growth rates.  Another study showed that low homocysteine, determined by B vitamin status, was linked to a better chance of pregnancy in women undergoing assisted reproduction.  Yet another study showed that subfertile women undergoing ovulation induction who were taking a multi-micronutrient vitamin were more likely to get pregnant than women who took only a folic acid supplement.  Finally, a recently published review demonstrates how increasing a woman’s ability to fight oxidative stress increases her chances of successful pregnancy via assisted reproduction.
(Maternal of Child Nutrition, April 2013)
(Journal of Assisted Reproduction and Genetics, April 2012)
(Reproductive Biomedicine Online, January 2012)
(Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology, June 2012)

LINK to ABSTRACT Folate, Vitamin B12, Vitamin B6 and homocysteine: impact on pregnancy outcome.
LINK to ABSTRACT
The association between homocysteine in the follicular fluid with embryo quality and pregnancy rate in assisted reproductive techniques.
LINK to ABSTRACT Prospective randomized trial of multiple micronutrients in subfertile women undergoing ovulation induction: a pilot study.
LINK to ABSTRACT The effects of oxidative stress on female reproduction: a review.
LINK to FREE FULL TEXT
LINK to FLYER ON NUTRIENT INTERACTIONS IN FEMALE FERTILITY

Study sheds light on CoQ10’s role in healthy spermsperm resized 600
Sixty infertile men were given 200mg of CoQ10 or placebo for 3 months.  CoQ10 lowered oxidative stress in semen (measured by isoprostanes and superoxide dismutase activity) and improved sperm function significantly. (Andrologia, January 2013)

LINK to ABSTRACT Effect of Coenzyme Q10 supplementation on antioxidant enzymes activity and oxidative stress of seminal plasma: a double-blind randomised clinical trial.

 

For more information on micronutrients and telomeres CLICK HERE

 

Topics: SpectraCell, serine, micronutrients, Coenzyme Q10, Antidepressants, Vitamin D, Vitamin C, Telomere testing, telomere, deficiency, micronutrient test, ADHD, Nutritional Deficiency, Heart Health, Nutrient, telomere test, Hormones, Aging, Reproductive Health, infertility, Testosterone, Women's Health

Clinical Applications of MTHFR Genomic Testing

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Tue, Jan 22, 2013 @ 03:50 PM

Clinical Applications of MTHFR Genomic Testing webinar presented by Dr. Bridget Briggs
 
What you learned:  Dr. Briggs, MTHFR
  • Methylation processes in the body. 
  • The function of MTHFR and the common polymorphisms found in 40% of Americans
  • The links between the common polymorphisms in MTHFR and risks involving cardiovascular disease, thromboembolic disease, irritable bowel, depression, memory agility, autoimmunity, poor detoxification, infertility, PMS, insomnia and many other disorders. 
  • Treatment for patients with common polymorphisms including L-5 MTHF, Methylcobalamin, B6, Trimethylglycine, inositol, and other key nutrients.

  • Case Study Review

Clinical Applications of MTHFR Genomic Testing Webinar

 

Topics: SpectraCell, Autoimmunity, cancer cells, autoimmune diseases, Telomere testing, B Vitamins, Fibromyalgia, ApoE Genotyping, Cardiovascular Health, diagnostic tools, MTHFR Genotyping, Genotyping, Multivitamins, Chronic Disease, immune system, breast cancer, deficiencies, Elderly, chronic fatigue and nutrition, health, Case Study, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, degenerative illness, Cancer Prevention, Heart Health, Gastrointestinal Tract, cardiovascular disease, Energy, Methylation, Immunidex, Immunity, eczema and nutrition, Genetics, Bowel Disease, Controversy, Dr. Bridget Briggs, Women's Health

Success Story for Micronutrient & Telomere Testing

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Thu, Jun 21, 2012 @ 10:08 AM

Executive Medicine of TexasRecently, Dr. Walter Gaman of the Executive Medicine of Texas, recommended to a renowned supermodel, who recently overcame cancer, to start taking care of her body from the inside out.  He recommended some “cutting edge tests” within their Platinum Executive Physical which includes, “exams from micronutrient testing to telomere analysis which reveals your real age on a cellular level.”  

This is a great example of a physician and patient taking charge of their health by using SpectraCell's micronutrient and telomere testing.  She was very happy with her physical and, "…when [she] learned [she] had hypothyroidism and anemia and a few vitamin deficiencies, it was actually a relief to learn what was causing [her] to feel tired and to be able to address the issues and fix them. [She] now has homework to pump it up nutritionally and to implement changes in [her] physical level to achieve [her] personal best.”

Read the article here: “Supermodel Emme and Executive Medicine of Texas Join Forces to Urge Americans to Take Charge of their Health”


Topics: micronutrient testing, Cancer, Telomere testing, deficiencies

Archived Webinar: Managing the Aging Process

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Wed, May 23, 2012 @ 02:12 PM

Dr. Eva CwynarPresented by: Eva Cwynar, M.D.

Topics of Discussion:
  • Diagnostic tools and lifestyle changes for Age Management
  • How to maximize the body now to prevent fatigue and chronic disease
  • Revealing your cellular age – How to manage aging from the inside out
  • Testing for uncertainty – when a patient “just doesn’t feel right”
Click HERE to listen to the webinar and download the presentation slides

Topics: SpectraCell, Telomere testing, Chronic Disease, Aging

YEAR END SPECIAL!!! Micronutrient & Telomere Testing

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Mon, Nov 21, 2011 @ 02:42 PM

MNT & Telomere Testing resized 600Medicine now recognizes that every patient is biochemically unique, and this individuality extends to a patient's nutritional needs. In fact, a person's unique genetic blueprint will influence their nutritional needs and likewise, their nutritional status often influences gene expression. By measuring their comprehensive nutritional status with SpectraCell's micronutrient testing, deficiencies of 33 vitamins, minerals and antioxidants will be uncovered, thus allowing a targeted supplementation regimen based on the results. Correcting deficiencies can slow aging and degenerative disease progression, and the diagnostic epitome of cellular aging is telomere length. When combined with the innovative Telomere test, which tells your patient whether or not their biological age is older or younger than their chronological age, micronutrient testing is an exceptional tool that enables a physician to synergize this intimate interaction of genes and nutrition.

SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. is combining their Micronutrient and Telomere Testing as an end of year special package with the Preferred Pay* pricing option.  Preferred Payment Options offer an upfront co-pay with no balance bill due to the patient. Pricing applies to all Preferred Pay Patients with approved insurance coverage. This offer is good through December 31, 2011. 

*Promotion is not applicable for Blue Cross Blue Shield patients drawn in AL, FL, IL, NC, NM, OK, SC, TX and Cigna patients. This promotion is not available for Medicare patients.

Contact your SpectraCell representative for details at  800-227-5227 or spec1@spectracell.com.


Topics: SpectraCell, micronutrient testing, Telomere testing, preferred payment option

SpectraCell's Telomere Testing Goes Mainstream

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Tue, Jul 26, 2011 @ 04:40 PM

Telomere TestingAmerica’s #1 rated morning news program, The Today Show, featured a story highlighting SpectraCell’s Telomere Test, a blood test that measures cellular aging. The segment entitled How to Live to 100 showcased SpectraCell’s Telomere Test as a tool for those interested in monitoring their health with biomarkers specific to longevity and aging. The Telomere Test measures a person’s biological age in comparison to their chronological age, giving a person an overall picture of how well they are aging.

SpectraCell was the first company to commercially offer telomere analysis to patients when it introduced its Telomere Test in June 2009. Before that, telomere testing was only available to researchers and university scientists. SpectraCell’s telomere testing was also recently featured in the New York Times (May 18, 2011). The Today Show, which has over five million viewers, aired the story on July 13, 2011. 

describe the imageTelomeres are sections of DNA at the end of chromosomes that cap genetic material and serve as protective buffers that prevent chromosomes from becoming attached to each other or rearranging. They are often compared to the caps at the ends of shoelaces. Every time a cell replicates, its telomere gets shorter, eventually causing cell death once the telomere attrition has reach its maximum. Measuring telomere length in human lymphocytes is an indicator of cellular aging, and research demonstrates that shortened telomeres are responsible for many of the normal processes of aging.

“SpectraCell Laboratories has always been on the cutting edge of diagnostic testing and Telomere Testing is no exception. We commercialized this test in direct response to interest from our physician clients, who saw it as a natural complement to our micronutrient testing,” says Otto Schaefer, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for SpectraCell. “The landscape of healthcare is really changing, with people taking charge of their own personal health information.”

The most common question asked by people who get the telomere test is “What do I do if I have a low telomere score?” Basic lifestyle changes are the first step – these include smoking cessation, moderate daily exercise and maintaining a healthy weight. For those who have already made these choices but still have a low telomere score, a comprehensive nutritional assessment is recommended.

Deficiencies in nutrients such as folate and vitamins C and D can shorten telomeres, so it is imperative to correct such deficiencies. Oxidative stress is another major culprit in telomere shortening so reducing inflammation and shoring up the body’s antioxidant defenses is critical for telomere maintenance. A person’s ability to combat free radicals, which cause oxidative stress, can be improved by correcting deficiencies in specific antioxidant nutrients, such as vitamin E, selenium and glutathione.

Telomere length is affected by many factors: age, genetics, lifestyle, disease and pharmaceuticals. Chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, hypertension, diabetes, obesity and dementia have strong associations with shorter telomeres. But telomere attrition can be mitigated significantly with aggressive lifestyle therapies as well as certain medications.

SpectraCell’s test measures a person’s telomere length. A control gene is also measured and compared to the telomere length, and then results are stated as a ratio. A higher ratio means a longer telomere, and younger biological age. The Telomere Score is also compared to other individuals in the same chronological age group.

This automated test is based on Quantitative Real Time PCR (polymerase chain reaction) technology and only requires 1 mL of whole blood. When a sample is received at SpectraCell’s Houston laboratory, the white blood cells are broken apart, the DNA is extracted and the telomeric DNA is amplified into a measurable signal. This signal is compared to a control gene of known length and a Telomere Score is generated. The price of the Telomere Test is $290. Testing once each year starting around age 25 is suggested to monitor the rate of telomere loss. More information at www.spectracell.com.

About SpectraCell Laboratories – SpectraCell is a CLIA accredited laboratory servicing healthcare providers nationwide by providing advanced clinical tests that measure nutritional status, cardiovascular risk, and cellular aging.

SpectraCell’s micronutrient tests measure the function of over 32 vitamins, minerals, amino acids and antioxidants in white blood cells, specifically taking into consideration personal differences in metabolism, age, genetics, health, prescription drug usage, absorption rate and other factors.

SpectraCell’s Telomere test measures how well a person’s body is aging internally. Many factors – both genetic and environmental – affect the rate of telomere loss, and this test provides an overall window into aging at the cellular level.

SpectraCell’s Lipoprotein Particle Profile™ is the most advanced lipoprotein particle test available, providing an accurate and in-depth assessment of cardiovascular risk.

Topics: SpectraCell, Telomere testing, telomere

NBC's TODAY Show Interviews SpectraCell

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Tue, Jul 12, 2011 @ 03:38 PM

The TODAY Show and SpectraCellNBC's The TODAY Show will air a segment on Aging and Telomere Testing tomorrow, Wednesday, July 13th between 8:00am - 9:00am EDT (7:00am - 8:00am CDT). Film crews were in Houston last week interviewing SpectraCell's clients and corporate personnel and filming our lab operations. Currently, SpectraCell is the only commercial lab offering this highly advanced diagnostic test in the United States.

Tune in tomorrow to catch a glimpse of our television interview. We highly anticipate a large influx of consumer website visitors from TODAY's 5 million+ viewers. We will be directing all patient inquiries for Telomere Testing to our Find-A-Clinician database listed on our homepage.

Topics: SpectraCell, telomere length, Telomere testing, The TODAY Show, NBC