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What are telomeres?

Buy our Telomere Test for only 149.- €   (saliva test) and find out your biological age,  just send us a Mail

What are telomeres?

Telomeres are the protective end-caps of chromosomes which prevent deterioration of the cell and allow for proper replication. Telomeres become shorter with age and poor lifestyle choices, eventually failing to protect cells. When this happens, the cell no longer properly divides, leading to cell death.

Telomere length is controlled by both erosion and addition, with erosion happening when a cell divides and addition being determined by the enzyme telomerase.

Telomerase consists of protein and RNA subunits which elongate telomeres by adding DNA base-pair sequences to the ends of chromosomes. Telomerase exhibition can be increased in combination through a healthy diet, exercise, Endoluten and even meditation.

Why measure telomeres?

Because telomere length can be improved with increased telomerase exhibition (possible through diet, exercise, and meditation), it is an actionable biomarker.

This means that a measure of how telomere length is affected by lifestyle can be realized when comparing telomere length and lifestyle (anonymously) with others. We give clinicians access to graphs and diagrams which show how their telomere and lifestyle stacks up with a sample of the general population.

Short telomere length is also found to be an indicator of early-onset for age-related diseases, including diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancers.

What information is available in results?

You can view mean telomere length, the changes in mean telomere length over time, and charts comparing current telomere length with the averages of individuals who make similar and different lifestyle decisions. This data allows practitioners to make better-informed decisions for their patients.

What method for measuring telomere length do you use?

Telomere length is determined using a qPCR real-time instrument to estimate absolute telomere length. Briefly, the method of O’Callaghan (Biotechniques 2008, Vol 44, No. 6, pp 807-809) uses an oligomer standard containing 14 TTAGGG telomeric repeats and a standard curve using a single copy gene standard (36B4) to estimate both the mean telomere length per reaction and the mean diploid genome copies for each sample.

The telomere length per diploid genome and the length per telomere are then
calculated according to the O’Callaghan method. All samples are repeated in triplicate and mean results accepted only if the standard deviation of the Ct was <1Ct.

Approximately 90% of samples typically pass this QC parameter. A sample will fail the analysis if it does not pass QC values for the telomere or the single-copy gene assay or
both.

Highlights

1. Using an oligomer standard at multiple dilutions of a known TL we can say with
confidence whether TL results are “real” and/or a result of technical error.
2. We run all samples in triplicate and fail any sample where the experimental replicates
differ by >1Ct value. The raw data could be used to generate an intra-assay CV.
3. Samples are typically run once, on the same plate, on the same day.
4. Using a lymphoblastic cell line as control inter- and intra-assay CV for this assay was
calculated in O’Callaghan to be 7% and 1.1% respectively.
5. We amplify a single-copy housekeeping gene; 36B4, and use this to determine the
number of genome copies and therefore the absolute telomere length.
6. Saliva is an interesting sample type for TLA because it is a combination of buccal cells
and leukocytes. Some argue a better proxy for whole body changes in TLA than blood.