Maintaining Sexual Function in Later Life
Presented by Mike Perring at the 2009 British Longevity Society, London download>
Testosterone’s Effects on Anxiety: Androgens and Mood
Presented by Mike Perring at the 2006 EMAA Conference download>
Patients with Sexual Problems treated with Hormonal Treatments
Presented by Mike Perring and the 2007 AAMS Seminar, Paris . download>
Food and Sex: Plants Hormones and Herbs
Presented by Mike Perring at the 2006 Food and Health Forum, The Royal Society of Medicine, London download>
Presented by Mike Perring and Marlene Wasserman at the 2007 SA5M Conference, Capetown download>
Talking with Men about Sex
Cell senescence: Refers to cells which no longer replicate, and whose deteriorating function leads to the cell’s death.
Apoptosis: A genetically determined process of cells to self destruct often indicated by telomere shortening. - 10,000 in the neonate.
Telomere: A telomere is a short repetitive segment of non genetic material that functions as a biological clock to determine the lifespan of a cell (that is how many times it divides before it dies). The telomere is also involved in stabilizing genetic material to maintain the health of cells and hence the continuing life of the organism.
1962 ‘The Hayflick limit’
The theoretical number of times that any dell can divide and which indicates its potential life span. The Hayflick limit for normal human (somatic) cells is about 120 years.
It is named after Leonard Hayflick, the microbiologist who discovered cultured normal human and animal cells have a limited capacity for replication.
James Watson and Francis Crick with Rosalind Franklin discovered the double-helix structure of DNA. They defined the ‘end-replication’ problem of DNA’s constancy.
By the mid-seventies it was recognised that both ends of every chromosome have ‘junk’ DNA identified as telomeres. These protect the function of DNA so that when chromosomes divide they lose telomere length rather than functional DNA which is crucial to the integrity of the chromosomes. The telomeres were likened to the caps on shoe laces that prevent essential DNA from fraying.
There are about 15,000 ‘base pairs’ of the sequence TTAGGG which make up the telomere of an embryo. They are lost progressively as we age.
When telomeres are reduced to about 5,000 base pairs they become senescent and die. The maximum life span of our species at the present time is about 120 years.
1984 Discovery of Telomerase
Greider and Blackburn identified an enzyme, telomerase, that makes telomeres longer and gives cells immortality. Only some cells (reproduction and cancer cells) have telomerase turned on in high enough amounts for them to be potentially immortal.
Stem cells have lower telomerase activity than reproduction cells but higher telomerase activity than (somatic) cells which have little or no telomerase because the gene is covered up or repressed.
In 1997 active telomerase genes were inserted into human skin cells (on a petri dish) leading to telomerase production by the skin cells and an increase in telomere length and immortality of the skin cell line. The same insertion in vivo to mice of active telomerase led to skin rejuvenation.
Ageing may be thought of as a balance between the forces of degradation (‘wear and tear’) and restoration.
Degradation occurs from internal and external factors. Internal factors include oxidation, glycation, inflammation, DNA gene mutation, and abnormal methylation. External factors include environmental toxins, natural catastrophies and war/violence.
Restoration occurs by minimizing, avoiding, replacing and repairing damage.
Genetic factors and inheritance may account for 30% of the ageing process while 70% is attributable to environmental factors and our capacity to maintain our cellular selves. We are only as good as our weakest link!
Lifestyle factors which influence cellular ageing include diet, exercise and ‘stressors’.
Paleolithic Diet recommended
The diet of our ‘hunter-gatherer’ ancestors up to about 10,000 years ago: animal protein, fewer carbohydrates (good carbs from fruit and vegetables; large amounts of fibre; monounsaturated and poly unsaturated fats (with equal amounts of omega-3 and omega-6) preferred withhigh potassium and low sodium (salt) and net alkaline pH; plant phytochemicals beneficial; supplement support if necessary with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
Dairy and grain products are less well tolerated from about the age of 40, and in particular lactose intolerance and partial gluten intolerance (<50% of the adult population) may be present.
Testing for Telomere length
Once a telomere becomes critically short it is identified by the cell as a DNA break which signals normal cells to undergo apoptosis as a protection against cell mutation and cancer.
The flow-FISH (fluorescence in situ hybridization) test gives an accurate measure of telomere length and the percentage of short telomeres in large human sample sets.
The test involves cloning the telomere gene, painting it with a fluorescent die and mapping it to a chromosome. This provides the most useful measure of telomere length as it is the single shortest telomere in a cell that dictates whether the cell undergoes apoptosis.
There is also a cheaper PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test which measures the median length of telomeres in relation to comparable lengths in the population of the same age. The test is a good biological marker of ageing but is not accurate enough to provide an indication of biological age change accompanying treatment.
TA65, containing telomerase, is a concentrate derived from the Astralagus plant.
In 2005 a double-blind placebo controlled study showed that a course of TA 65 produced ‘a marked improvement in measurable anti-ageing biomarkers’. Specifically immune systems were strengthened, energy levels rose and some people had improved skin elasticity, visual improvement and increased sexual function. More recent studies in Spain have shown critically short telomeres are lengthened.
TA 65 is a product available in the UK which Optimal Health is able to supply.
It is recommended that telomere length is measured, using the FISH method, described above, before and after a three months course of TA65.
Please contact Optimal Health for further details on 020 74367713.