Fitness Tracker for Your DNA


SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (Ivanhoe Newswire) — Finding the fountain of youth. That elusive journey has escaped the efforts of men and women for centuries. But a California-based high tech company says it may have succeeded where so many others have failed.

Registered nurse, Anita Grysky, didn’t know how important her healthy lifestyle was until she took a DNA test. It’s called Teloyears and it tells us if the cells inside our bodies are aging better or worse than their actual age.

“I was surprised by the results. I know I live a fairly healthy lifestyle. But as it turns out, I came in younger than my actual age by about fourteen years,” Anita shared.

Needless to say, Anita is thrilled. But does this mean she can toss aside her real age? No such luck.

Jason Shelton, CEO, Telomere Diagnostics, says, “Your actual age is your actual age and we never tell anyone that that changes, or that’s different.”

Telomeres are the protective caps of DNA at the end of our chromosomes. Like the plastic tips on a shoelace, they shorten and fray with age. But if that happens too fast, it may be a red flag for a future health issue like heart disease or cancer.

“But the good news is your telomere length can change based on lifestyle and a variety of other factors,” added Shelton.

Douglas Harrington, MD, Medical Director at Telomere Diagnostics, said, “The way I describe it to people is your check engine light is on and you need to look at your lifestyle and do something about it.”

A new study from England even suggests there may be a connection between joint stiffness and shortened telomeres.

“I think information is power. It’s important to get a baseline to find out where you are,” feels Grysky.

Which is fairly easy now. Customers provide a small blood sample in an online kit sent to the Teloyears lab, and within three to four weeks their cellular age is revealed. And, the cost starts at 99 dollars.

“If you know there’s some things you need to work on and improve, this is just a tool in your basket to help you get there,” said Grysky.

And remember, unlike your actual age, you have some control over cellular aging. By improving a few lifestyle habits, studies have shown you can lengthen your telomeres ten percent in just six months!

Contributors to this news report include: Jennifer Winter, Producer; Roque Correa, Editor and Evan Borders, Videographer.

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REPORT #2526

BACKGROUND: Healthy living to most people means both your physical and mental health are in balance or functioning well together. In many instances, physical and mental health are closely linked, so that a change (good or bad) in one directly affects the other. All humans have to eat food for growth and maintenance of a healthy body. Physical activity is a major contributor to a healthy lifestyle. Typical American diets exceed the recommended intake levels or limits in four categories: calories from solid fats and added sugars; refined grains; sodium; and saturated fat. Americans eat less than the recommended amounts of vegetables, fruits, whole-grains, dairy products, and oils. About 90 percent of Americans eat more sodium than is recommended for a healthy diet. More than 80 percent of adults do not meet the guidelines for both aerobic and muscle-strengthening activities, and more than 80 percent of adolescents do not do enough aerobic physical activity to meet the guidelines for youth.

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EXCITING NEWS ON TESTING YOUR DNA: You can now know how well you’re aging with TeloYears, a simple and accurate DNA test through a few drops of blood, that tracks your cellular age based on your current telomere length. The age of your cells in TeloYears is the actual age of the typical man or woman whose telomere length is similar to yours. Like cholesterol, BMI, or blood pressure, your telomere length is a useful biomarker for monitoring the vitality of your cells so that you can improve and better control not how old you are but how well you’re aging. Whether the age of your cells in TeloYears is older or younger than your actual age, you can use your results to improve your overall health by finding in them the motivation to take steps to slow down the clock on the aging process by changing certain lifestyle behaviors that have been shown to associate with telomere length, including nutrition, exercise, sleep and stress management. Your TeloYears results can also be used, through repeat testing, to track how your choices are affecting your aging as studies have demonstrated that lifestyle choices can have an impact on telomere length.


A DNA APP STORE?: Our genomes hold information about our health risks, our physical traits, and whom we’re related to. Yet aside from ancestry tests that provide a limited genetic snapshot, there’s not a mass market for DNA data. Helix is a San Francisco–based company that has secured more than $100 million in a quest to create the first “app store” for genetic information. The idea is to collect a spit sample from anyone who buys a DNA app, sequence and analyze the customers’ genes, and then digitize the findings so they can be accessed by software developers who want to sell other apps. Helix calls the idea “sequence once, query often” and says customers will soon find these apps on websites and possibly in the Android and Apple app stores. One company working with Helix is Good Start Genetics, a startup in Cambridge, Massachusetts, that offers pre-conception testing. These DNA tests tell parents-to-be if they share a risk for passing on a serious genetic condition, such as cystic fibrosis. Jeffrey Luber, Good Start’s head of business development, says it hopes to reach a larger audience with an app that can report a few important risks. As with browsing on Amazon, he thinks, people will discover things they “didn’t know they needed but that are targeted to them, and that they want.”


* For More Information, Contact:

 Douglas Harrington, MD                                                       Susan Forman, Public Relations                                                    

(212) 825-3210