Category: shady medicine

Just published a new piece in Nature about ongoing research into the role of telomeres in human health, and you can read it here. As usual, I wrote much more than made it to the final version (what can I say, I’m a man of many words), and one of the casualties of the cut was an entire section on anti-aging therapeutics that supposedly work by ratcheting up telomerase activity.

Now, although the link between telomere shortening and age-related tissue degeneration appears to be relatively robust, it’s clearly a gross oversimplification to see telomere length as a sole driver of the overall aging process or as any kind of simple quantitative metric of ‘biological age’. But that hasn’t stopped several companies from attempting to capitalize on the general public’s limited understanding – and the extreme complexity – of telomere biology.

Boy, that stupid scientific community really burns my britches... what with all their "theories" and "experiments". Jerks.

(image from here)

Many of these products claim to harness “Nobel prize-winning technology”… such as Reneuve, which consists (for some reason) of pig thymus glands in grain alcohol with elderberry and currant juice. Yummers! Oh, wait… I meant to say, rejuvenating! Apparently, the idea is that you’re taking invigorating porcine telomerase with every delicious sip. But, you say, how on earth would eating glandular extracts manage to deliver telomerase enzyme intact into the nuclei of cells in every tissue of my body? Here’s the brain-melting explanation:
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