Questions about Telomere Analysis
What is the relationship between biological age and chronological age that we can learn from our telomeres?
Not all individuals age at the same rate even though they may have the same chronological age. Therefore, it is important to identify molecular markers (other than chronological age) that can estimate the degree of aging of an organism. This information is useful for health professionals and individuals alike to anticipate premature development of age-related issues and to try to consider changes in lifestyle (for instance, obesity and smoking have been shown to accelerate telomere attrition while exercise and good nutrition slow it), to follow more closely our telomere dynamics over the years, or to benefit from potential telomerase activators. Mounting evidence suggests that the length of telomeres is a good indicator of the degree of aging of an organism.
What are the factors that affect the length of my telomeres?
Genetics and lifestyle are fundamental factors that affect telomere length and the rate at which they shorten. Certain life habits have been significantly associated with having longer or shorter telomeres. For example, smoking, obesity and psychological stress increase oxidative stress and inflammation which, in turn, contribute to higher rates of telomere attrition throughout life. Other factors such as diet, exercise, sleep are also believed to impact biological aging. Current therapies are being developed based on telomerase activation to rejuvenate telomeres. Measuring telomere length will be necessary to determine whether these therapies are effectively improving telomere length.
Why do I need to know my biological age?
Firstly, it is an excellent indicator of an individual overall general health status. Secondly, knowing our biological age, it permits us to obtain a better understanding of the lifestyle habits that impact aging and affords us the opportunity to make appropriate changes and by periodic re-testing, measure the results. Thirdly, Life Length’s Telomere Analysis Technology (TAT), will allow for more personalized medicine as doctors treat patients increasingly taking into consideration their biological age.