There has been a plethora of recent research linking telomerase with longevity. This is a substance used by the body to repair the telomeres at the end of DNA strands that seem to cause cells to die. Transhumanists and life extension advocates hope that by stimulating the bodies production of telomerase, the effect of aging might be delayed and radical life extension a possibility.
Some bio-tech companies are already producing supplements that claim to do just this – increase the production of telomerase. One of the most controversial and talked about of these supplements is TA-65, produced by the biotech firm T.A Sciences. However, such supplements are expensive, unproven, and potentially dangerous.
Biotech companies specializing in anti-aging research such as T.A. Sciences and Sierra Sciences are attempting to find compounds that most effectively activate telomerase.
To date Sierra Sciences has screened 254, 593 compounds and have found 858 telomerase inducers. Scientists are able to keep up this break-neck speed of testing 4,000 compounds per week by using robots to do the grunt work. It appears Dr. Andrews and his team is looking for a homerun before proceeding with further studies.
Although a different company produces it, Andrews has faith that TA-65 is a supplement worth taking. The problem is that wishful thinking may be blinding his objectivity. Many of us want radical life extension treatment at our fingertips but that doesn’t make it so. Frankly, more testing needs to be done before TA-65 can be accepted into the mainstream.
Enthusiasts taking it now are experimenting on themselves. There’s nothing wrong with that as it is an individual choice. The reward of longer telomeres is great, but the costs may even bigger. Dr. West has raised concerns that TA-65 may work against the body’s natural anticancer program.