Telomere testing can reveal key points about your health regarding cellular ageing, disease risk, lifestyle factors, longevity and other personal health insights.

What are Telomeres?

Telomeres are the ‘protective caps’ at the end of chromosomes. To gain a better understanding of telomeres, we first need to explain exactly what chromosomes are and what role they play in the body.

Chromosomes are thread-like structures within our bodies, found inside the nucleus of our cells. Each chromosome consists of protein and a single molecule of DNA, making thema genetic fingerprints passed to us from our parents.

telemomeres on chromosomes

As these protective caps on our chromosomes, telomeres are vital to maintaining the integrity of our DNA.  Effectively, they play the same sort of role as the plastic caps (aglets) on the end of shoelaces which stop them from fraying and unravelling.  


In the case of our chromosomes, this protection is particularly important during the process of cell division.  Some cells, such as the immune cells, stem cells, and those in our digestive systems, divide more frequently than others. Telomeres are essential in maintaining stability within the process.

Do Telomeres Change?

It is part of the natural ageing process for telomeres gradually shorten. Unfortunately, telomeres cannot be lengthened, however, this shortening process can be slowed down.

Telomeres and Your Health

The state of your telomeres is, essentially, a baseline of longevity. Thousands of people have been tested to ascertain typical telomere length for every age. In doing so they have established the average telomere length for each age group.  You may have naturally shorter telomeres which, whilst less desirable, is something you have had since birth and not something you have caused.  

However, shorter telomeres have been linked to a variety of age-related diseases such as cancers, strokes, heart, lung and liver diseases as well as neurodegenerative disorders, to name just a few.

Not only are short telomeres linked to a number of diseases, but they can also be seen as a predictor of health outcomes.  This means that the short telomeres give a higher risk of such diseases and earlier death.  

A study published in 2021, suggests that people in the same age brackets with the shortest telomeres have an increased risk of mortality from a number of diseases when compared to those with the longest telomeres.

It is important to stress, however, that shorter/shortening telomere length may increase your risk of suffering from one (or more) of these conditions, but it is not an absolute determinant.

Lifestyle Affects Telomere Length

Your telomere length will have been established by your genetics:  what you don’t want to see is a shortening of these, other than through the natural ageing process.  Lifestyle choices may well be responsible for the unnatural shortening of your telomeres with these known causes:

  • Smoking
  • Excessive Alcohol
  • Sedentary lifestyle/inactivity

Telomere length is an indicator of biological ageing, and it shortens during cell division. A short telomere length is associated with various age-related diseases and mortality. It is suggested that physical activity has a positive effect on the rate of telomere length shortening.

A study published in early 2022 showed that participants who made significant positive changes to their levels of exercise showed changes in telomere length. 

“Telomere length was evaluated in 939 patients from 7 RCTs. Compared to the control group (usual care or inactivity), significant improvement was observed in the experimental groups that performed exercise.”

Know Your Telomere Length

The most important point to draw from all this is that if you know your telomere length, in relation to that of others your age, then you have a broader knowledge of your potential risk. This empowers you to make changes to your lifestyle, where appropriate.

Telomere Testing

To determine your telomere length, IVBOOST UK conducts a very simple test which you can take at home. You simply do a quick finger-prick blood test and send it to the TeloNostiX lab for analysis. These are the same labs selected by top consultants both within and outside the NHS and with ISO (International Organisation for Standardisation) accreditation. The lab’s results have an extremely high level of accuracy, and we receive the analysis of the data very quickly.

You will receive results which will place you in a specific percentile.  As explained above, this will afford you the knowledge of where you stand with regard to the ‘ageing effect’ of your telomeres and the potential risk you may have with regard to certain diseases.

As this test will give you your result now, it is very sensible to have a follow-up test, leaving a year’s gap, to determine if there has been any change in your telomere length.  Not only would this be beneficial as it offers details which would highlight any shortening in the length of your telomeres but had your first test revealed shorter telomeres you could then assess what benefit any lifestyle change(s) you have adopted are having.

Furthermore, having had your telomere test results back, the medical team at IVBOOST can advise on any lifestyle or therapy interventions to future-proof your good health, guard against the risk of disease and tackle any poor health habits you may have. Get Telomere tested with IV Boost today!