“Knowledge is power.”—Sir Francis Bacon

Have you ever looked into the mirror and wondered how long a life you will live? Do you ever consider whether or not the supplements you take every day are a total waste of money, or if they are indeed improving your overall health and allowing you to thrive? Have you read books telling you that there is more to the cholesterol ratio than your doctor is aware of, and asked yourself if it might be of benefit to find out what kind of particles you have in your blood, and if they might be dangerous? Do you know if your genes put you at a greater risk of Alzheimer’s or heart disease?

If you have, then you are not alone. But, did you take action on any of these queries?  After all, it is only when one becomes aware of the problem can they make the changes necessary to fix it. Because of this, we are super excited to announce some very advanced laboratory testing to help you determine your state of health. Our new store allows you to order a variety of blood tests that can be done at your convenience in a location close to your home or work.

You can learn more about each test and order the following eye-opening laboratory tests by following their links:

  1. Micronutrient Testing: This lab test offers the most accurate, scientifically proven method of assessing micronutrient deficiencies.
  2. Hormone, Thyroid and Adrenals Testing: Comprehensive male and female hormone panels that reveal the overall state of hormonal balance in a patient.
  3. CardioMetabolic Testing: A definitive diagnostic and clinically relevant evaluation to help define risk of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) and progression toward type 2 diabetes. Includes Lipoprotein Particle TestingTM, Type-2 Diabetes Risk Assessment & Omega Levels.
  4. Telomere Testing: This test determines the length of a patient’s telomeres in relation to the patient’s age to determine how fast a person is aging.
  5. MTHFR Genotyping: To determine if you have any mutations in the gene coding for MTHFR produce an enzyme that has reduced activity.
  6. Apolipoprotein E Genotyping: ApoE test determines an individual’s genetic risk associated with the Apolipoprotein E gene. The results of the genotyping of Apolipoprotein E have important implications in the treatment strategies for individual patients in reducing cardiovascular disease risk and Alzheimer’s.

In this blog, we want to review with you just one of the incredible tests that we are now offering, called telomere testing.

What are telomeres?
Telomeres are sections of DNA at the end of each chromosome that serve as a cap to your genetic material.  Every time a cell replicates, its telomere will become shorter.  Shorter telomeres imply a shorter life span for a cell. Scientists can measure “biological age” by examining the length of an individual’s telomeres, with longer telomeres signifying longer lifespan. Think of telomeres as the protective plastic coating at the ends of your shoelaces. Telomeres protect DNA breakdown, much like the coating on your shoelaces protects the lace from fraying.

Why should you care about my telomere length? What effect does it have on your health and wellness?
Age adjusted telomere length is the best method to date to assess biological age using structural analysis of chromosomal change in the telomere.  You can determine how you are aging relative to a normal population.  This knowledge can really be eye opening and you may decide that nutritional and lifestyle therapies are needed to decrease your chromosomal age and slow aging.

What Micronutrients affect telomere length:

  • Copper – Copper is a known cofactor to the powerful antioxidant superoxide dismutase.  This affects a cell’s potential to resist oxidative stress from free radicals, one of the major causes of telomere shortening.(1,2)
  • Folate – Folate (vitamin B9) affects the integrity of DNA by providing precursors to nucleotide synthesis via methylation pathways. Research has shown a positive association between the status of ones’s folate and their telomere length.(3)
  • Glutathione – This antioxidant (whose best source in food is whey protein) plays a key role in preserving telomere function in endothelial cells by regulating intracellular oxidation homeostasis.(4)
  • Magnesium (Mg)– Mg stabilizes DNA and promotes DNA replication and transcription, whereas low Mg might accelerate cellular senescence by reducing DNA stability, protein synthesis, and function of mitochondria. Telomerase, in binding to short DNAs, is Mg dependent. (5)
  • Selenium – Its antioxidant properties ultimately affects a cell’s ability to resist oxidative stress. At least one experiment has shown that the addition of selenium significantly extended the telomere length of liver cells.(6)
  • Zinc – When the relationship between telomere shortening and zinc status was investigated, researchers found that zinc deficiencies, which is linked to an increase in inflammatory markers, was associated with critical shortening of telomeres.(7)
  • B Vitamins – Short telomeres are caused by increased homocysteine levels.(8,9) Deficiencies
in vitamins B6, B12 or b9 (folate) can impair homocysteine metabolism, raising its level in blood and linking it with accelerated telomere loss. Administration of vitamin B3 (niacin) to human fibroblasts decreases the rate of telomere shortening, extending their lifespan.(10)
  • Vitamin C – Administration of vitamin C to human epithelial cells mitigates telomere loss via reduction of reactive oxygen species.(11,12)
  • Vitamin D – A potent inhibitor of the pro-inflammatory response, higher vitamin D concentrations have been associated with longer telomere length.(13)
  • Vitamin E – Repression of age-dependent telomere shortening has been demonstrated with vitamin E administration, especially when combined with vitamin C.(14)

As we mentioned in The Micronutrient Miracle, micronutrients act like orchestra instruments and together, when all are available, their individual benefits are amplified The synergistic effect of micronutrients on the various systems of the body creates a complex web
of metabolic pathways that can be profoundly affected by a single nutrient deficiency. This makes it especially important to correct specific deficiencies and maintain nutritional balance. (You can discover your micronutrient deficiencies by taking this micronutrient test here)


A 2009 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that taking micronutrient supplementation might add years to your life. Earlier telomere studies on sixty- to seventy- five-year-old men and women showed those with short telomeres had an 800 percent higher death rate from infectious diseases, and a 300 percent higher death rate from heart disease. This latest study found that those who took multivitamins had 5.1 percent longer telomeres than non-users. The 5.1 percent longer telomeres equated to living approximately 9.6 years longer. Research shows that vitamin B12 supplements increase telomere length, while vitamins C and E prevent telomere shortening.

Your Lifestyle May Also Be To Blame!
In addition to nutritional therapies there are also lifestyle adjustments you can make that also increase the length of your telomeres…thus lowering your bodies physical age and likely allowing you to live longer.  Here are a few:

  1. Embrace an anti-inflammatory diet:  An inflammatory diet, or one that increases oxidative stress, will shorten telomeres faster.
 This includes refined carbohydrates, fast foods, processed foods, sodas, artificial sweeteners, and trans fats. Avoid foods high in omega 6 and choose foods and supplements with EPA and DHA loaded omega 3 (fish oil). Choose a diet with a large amount and variety of antioxidants that improves oxidative defense will slow telomere shortening.
  2. Minimize Emotional Stress – Studies have linked psychological distress to reduced telomerase activity
in immune cells.(15) In fact, exposure of lymphocytes
to cortisol (the stress hormone) from emotional distress has been directly associated with telomere loss.(16)
  3. Normalize Blood Pressure – Hypertension is linked with shorter telomeres, possibly due the endothelial dysfunction and oxidative stress in vascular tissue that occurs commonly with high blood pressure. (17,18) 
Deficiencies in calcium, magnesium and potassium have been proven to cause hypertension.
  4. Increase Physical Activity  – DO YOUR ZMT & 1STF today! Although the mechanism is not totally clear, very strong evidence links longer telomeres with people who exercise regularly (at least 30 minutes daily). The converse is also true; a sedentary lifestyle is linked to shorter telomeres and higher risk for age-related diseases. Although exercise itself can cause oxidative stress, research shows that moderate exercise training will increase the activity of antioxidant enzymes such as glutathione peroxidase and superoxide dismutase to compensate for the physical activity, and this ultimately protects telomeres. (19)
  5. Maintain Healthy Weight – Overwhelming evidence suggests that obesity accelerates aging. Decreasing visceral fat is very important. One should achieve ideal body weight and body composition with low body fat (less than 22% for women and less than 16% for men). Obesity is also associated with increased inflammation because fat tissue is a major source of inflammatory cytokines. (20)

As you can see… You have the power to live longer!

That’s right!  You can take the telomere test today! Then you can decide to lengthen those telomeres by making smarter diet and lifestyle choices, or you may discover that your current habits are king of the hill and you are far younger than your chronological age.  Either way…It is super smart to get tested because “Knowledge is power”.

Click here to learn about all of the laboratory testing we are now proud to offer at Calton Nutrition.



1. Mechanism and atomic structure of superoxide dismutase. Roberts VA et al. Free Radic Res Commun. 1991;12-13 Pt 1:269-78.
2. Extracellular superoxide dismutase is a major antioxidant in human fibroblasts and slows telomere shortening. Serra V et al. J Biol Chem. 2003;278(9):6824-30.
3.Telomere length in peripheral blood mononuclear cells in associated with folate status in men. Paul L et al. J Nutr. 2009.
4. Chronic oxidative stress compromises telomere integrity and accelerates the onset of senescence in human endothelial cells. Kurz DJ et al. J Cell Sci. 2004;117(Pt 11):2417-26.
5. Rowe, W. J. (2012). Correcting magnesium deficiencies may prolong life. Clin. Interv. Aging 7, 51–54. doi:10.2147/CIA.S28768
6. Effects of trace elements on the telomere lengths of hepatocytes L-02 and hepatoma cells SMMC-7721. Liu Q et al. Biol Trace Elem Res. 2004;100(3):215-27.
7. Accumulation of cells with short telomeres is associated with impaired zinc homeostasis and inflammation in old hypertensive patients. Cipriano C et al. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2009;64(7):745-51.
8. Homocysteine levels and leukocyte telomere length. Richards JB et al.Atherosclerosis. 2008;200(2):271-7.
9.Telomere Length in Lymphocytes of Older South Australian Men May Be Inversely Associated with Plasma Homocysteine. Bull CF et al. Rejuvenation Res. 2009.
10. Nicotinamide extends replicative lifespan of human cells. Kang HT et al.Aging Cell. 2006;5(5):423-36.
11.Age-dependent telomere shortening is slowed down by enrichment of intracellular vitamin C via suppression of oxidative stress. Furumoto K et al. Life Sci. 1998;63(11):935-48.
12. Slow-down of age-dependent telomere shortening is executed in human skin keratinocytes by hormesis-like effects of trace hydrogen peroxide or by anti-oxidative effects of pro-vitamin C in common concurrently with reduction of intracellular oxidative stress.Yokoo S et al. J Cell Biochem. 2004;93(3):588-97.
13. Higher serum vitamin D concentrations are associated with longer leukocyte telomere length in women. Richards JB et al.Am J Clin Nutr. 2007;86(5):1420-1425.
14.Age-dependent telomere-shortening is repressed by phosphorylated alpha-tocopherol together with cellular longevity and intracellular oxidative-stress reduction in human brain microvascular endotheliocytes.Tanaka Y et al. J Cell Biochem. 2007;102(3):689-703.
15. Increased telomerase activity and comprehensive lifestyle changes: a pilot study. Ornish
D et al. Lancet Oncol. 2008;9(11):1048-57
16. Reduced telomerase activity in human T lymphocytes exposed to cortisol. Choi J et al. Brain Behav Immun. 2008;22(4):600-5.
17.Telomere shortening & metabolic/ vascular diseases. Balasubramanyam M et al. Indian J Med Res. 2007;125(3):441-50.
18. Aging, telomeres, and atherosclerosis. Edo MD, Andrés V. Cardiovasc Res. 2005;66(2):213-21.
19. Exercise training improves the antioxidant enzyme activity with no changes of telomere length. Shin YA et al. Mech Ageing Dev. 2008;129(5):254-60.
20. 18. Rise in insulin resistance is associated with escalated telomere attrition. Gardner JP et al. Circulation. 2005;111(17):2171-7.