Is TA 65 the way to Immortality
Written by Glenn Rosenberg
Tuesday, 15 September 2009
Humans have dreamed about immortality for as long as there have been humans.
Yet the "fountain of youth" is still just a myth, and human lifespans today are topping out around 120 years for a few people. People over age 100 are one of the fastest growing age groups, but still there are grave concerns about whether large numbers of centenarians will be healthy enough to be worth the additional years.
Scientist and author Dr. Aubrey de Grey recently wrote about the advancing anti-aging technologies and why they may work in his book, "Ending Aging: The Rejuvenation Breakthroughs That Could Reverse Human Aging in Our Lifetime." De Grey believes that human lifespans of 500 years or more may be just around the corner. But there are many different competing theories of aging, each explaining different aspects of aging but none of which individually explain it all.
Telomere Theory of Aging
One of those theories of aging has to do with the ends of our DNA strands known as telomeres. Telomeres get shorter with age, kind of like a biological clock within each of our cells. When telomeres get very short or disappear, cells can no longer reproduce well. Either their reproduction stops, or DNA replication misfires and causes genetic damage.
There is evidence that reversing the shortening of telomeres could significantly increase lifespan, at least at the cellular level. For instance, most cancer cells are immortal in that they can reproduce endlessly because their telomeres do not shorten.
T.A Sciences - Patton Protocol TA-65 Treatment
Recognizing the promise of the telomere theory of aging and what restoring telomere length might do to lifespan, investors have funded companies to find a way to apply the science to marketable (and they hope eventually profitable) aging treatments. One of these companies is T.A. Sciences. It has announced the TA-65 telomerase activation supplement derived from the Chinese herb and traditional medicine astragalus.
If you've got the money (about $25,000 to $35,000 spread over two years) and are willing to undergo the full four segments of the Patton Protocol of pulsed TA-65 administration and consume many other helpful dietary supplements (antioxidants, N-acetylcysteine, alpha lipoic acid, lycopene, lutein, trimethylglycine [betaine HCl], CoQ10, L-Carnosine, EPA, DHA, etc.), the company believes that it can restore your cells to a youthful state.
They are confident enough of its safety that all of their employees age 40 and over receive the Patton Protocol TA-65 treatment, named after the founder of T.A. Sciences, entrepreneur Noel Patton. Noel Patton takes twice the dosage of TA-65 per day as anybody else, in effect making him a human guinea pig for the supplement.
Note that TA-65 isn't an FDA approved treatment. As the company explains, it is not a drug and they don't claim it prevents or treats diseases so therefore FDA approval is not required:
TA-65 is classified as a nutritional supplement, not a drug. TA-65 activates telomerase and this helps keep cells functioning in a normal and healthy way as we age. It is not a drug and we make no claims that it prevents or treats any disease. FDA approval is not required for nutritional supplements.
Benefits of TA-65
In 2005, the T.A. Sciences ran a small double-blind study involving 36 research subjects over 24 weeks. 12 of the subjects consumed placebo tablets, and 24 consumed product tablets.
The study is summarized in the document "T.A. Sciences Pivotal 2005 Anti-Aging Trial of TA-65". The study claims the product group subjects experienced measurable improvements in vision, skin condition, immune system functioning, and sexual functions.
T.A. Sciences has also published many testimonials from customers. Some of them point to testing showing that subjects gain about 100 base pairs added to their telomeres for each 3 months of treatment.
At birth, human blood cells typically have telomeres about 8000 base pairs long. By around age 35, they are down to about 3000 base pairs. And in the elderly (age 65 and up), telomere length falls below 1500 base pairs. If you work out the rate of telomere shortening per year from age 35 to 65, it appears to be about 50 base pairs per year.
So if TA-65 supplementation is adding about 400 base pairs per year, it is "undoing" about 8 years of aging per one year of treatment.
It is unlikely that TA-65 is the "fountain of youth" on its own. But from the evidence presented by T.A. Sciences, it does appear that TA-65 increases telomere lengths significantly and does cause improvements in some measurable criteria for health. The two downsides are the very high cost and a risk of side effects. So far, with about 100 patients undergoing TA-65 treatment to date, apparently there are no known significant side effects.