When people talk of “turning back the clock” or living in perpetual youth, it’s all too easy to write them off as quacks or having watched a little too much science fiction—but that’s not so when talking with molecular biologist Bill Andrews, Ph.D., who has studied aging at the molecular level for more than 15 years.
Dr. Andrews is one of the world’s authorities on the biology of telomeres, which are sequences of repetitive non-coding DNA segments found at the ends of chromosomes. Telomeres, commonly likened to the plastic tips on shoelaces (perhaps too simply, says Dr. Andrews), protect chromosomes from damage and decrease each time a cell divides and replicates.
The length of telomeres is directly linked to age. When we are born our telomeres are long, but they shorten with each cell cycle as cells continually divide. Telomere length is the nearest measure that science has ever found to determine lifespan in humans, horses, dogs and cats—it acts as an the internal “hourglass” or “biological clock” for aging.
A genuine measure in humans for determining lifespan is groundbreaking medical science – so much that Dr. Andrews says he is delighted that his colleagues Drs. Elizabeth Blackburn, Carol Greider, and Jack Szozstak won a Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2009 for their own discoveries in telomere biology.
His own breakthrough finding was the detection of an enzyme called telomerase, which acts directly on telomeres to replace DNA bases that have been lost to cell division. It’s a key finding because telomerase can be produced by all types of human cells if they are given an appropriate signal, a signal that could “reverse aging” and increase the lifespan in humans.
Who wouldn’t want to live a longer, healthier life past 125? The potential to increase healthy lifespan is the reason that Dr. Andrews has screened thousands of compounds searching for ones that stimulate telomerase activity.
Enter John Anderson
On Aug. 22 at Isagenix Celebration 2010 in San Diego, Isagenix Founder and Master Formulator John Anderson announced that Isagenix will enter into the forefront of anti-aging products. He also introduced Dr. Andrews and new research they will work on together.
“Dr. Andrews developed the technology to test, verify the activity, and authenticate the effectiveness of natural ingredients that will turn back our human time clock,” said Anderson. “My role will be to search the world for botanicals, natural bacteria and other materials that hold the secrets of youth. These ingredients will undergo full screening by Dr. Andrews to verify its activity, whether or not there’s a ‘hit’.”
Giving credit where it’s due, Dr. Andrews and Anderson said the “genius” plan to work together actually came from Peter Greenlaw, a top Isagenix Associate. Greenlaw was fascinated with Dr. Andrews and his research.
But Dr. Andrews had focused almost completely on drugs and chemicals until Greenlaw suggested to him, “Why not try natural products? I know just the man you need to meet. He has been working with natural botanicals and has formulated thousands of natural products for more than 30 years.”
Dr. Andrews said the idea was brilliant, so Greenlaw arranged for Anderson and Dr. Andrews to meet together on the project. When they met, Dr. Andrews became immediately impressed with Anderson’s vast knowledge of herbs and botanicals while Anderson was impressed with Dr. Andrews.
While awaiting age reversal, slow telomere shortening
As promising as the discovery of telomerase is in the science of antiaging, Dr. Andrews and Anderson say that for the time being people should focus on implementing the known lifestyle changes that reduce the rate of telomere shortening.
While on stage at Celebration, Dr. Andrews shared that these lifestyle changes included quitting smoking, exercising, and reducing stress.
Dr. Andrews also said that Isagenix products should be added to an antiaging regimen, “There have been at least three publications in the last year showing that some dietary supplements can help slow telomere shortening. When I looked at the ingredients in Ageless Essentials [Daily Pack], I found they were all in there. Isagenix put some real thought into this.”
The company’s Ageless Essentials Daily Pack features AM and PM packets containing key antiaging-focused products: Ageless Actives, Essentials for Men/Women, IsaOmega Supreme and C-Lyte.
Dr. Andrews explained that the three publications he referred to found positive correlations between longer telomeres and antioxidants, vitamin D, and fish oil omega-3 fatty acids.As a person actively engaged in extending his own lifespan (he wears a pin on his suit-coat lapel that says “Cure Aging or Die Trying”), Dr. Andrews said he was delighted to start using the Ageless Essentials Daily Pack right away because of its convenience for getting all the nutrients he needs.
Determined to Defeat Aging
Convenience comes at a high value to a person who is as resolved to defeat aging as Dr. Andrews — determination is a defining characteristic of the man, who also happens to be a regular on the ultra-marathon running scene.
“When I or somebody else is healthy enough to run a seven-minute mile when they’re 130 years old, that’s when I’m going to know that we’ve cured aging,” Dr. Andrews said. “That’s my benchmark. I love life, I never want to die, and I plan on running a 100-mile race when I’m 100 years old.”
Dr. Andrews suggests that with healthy lifestyle habits such as regular exercise, eating right, and taking Ageless Essentials Daily Pack, we could all join him in staying healthy long enough to see radical reversal of aging in our futures.
With Dr. Andrews and Anderson working on telomerase research together, we can expect the day of increasing healthy life spans to come sooner rather than later.