Date of Completion


Embargo Period



Dr. Hedley C Freake, Dr. Ock K Chun

Field of Study

Nutritional Science


Master of Science

Open Access

Open Access



Background: Telomerase Activator 65 (TA-65), a compound extracted from Astragalus membranaceus, was developed to increase or maintain telomere length. Objectives: To determine the effects of TA-65 on the parameters of metabolic syndrome (MetS). Methods: We recruited 40 patients aged 32-70 years with MetS to determine the effects of TA-65 on dyslipidemias and anthropometrics in this at-risk population. This was a double-blind, randomized crossover design in which patients were allocated to consume either 16 mg daily of a TA-65 supplement or placebo for 12 weeks. Following a 3-week washout, participants were allocated to the alternate treatment for an additional 12 weeks. Anthropometric and biological markers were measured at the end of each treatment. Plasma lipids, fasting blood glucose, C-reactive protein (CRP), liver enzymes, and glycosylated hemoglobin were measured using a Cobas c-111. Plasma insulin was measured by ELISA and telomere length was measured in lymphocytes and granulocytes using q-FISH assay. Diet records were analyzed by using the Nutrition Data System for Research (NDSR) software. Results: There were no changes in dietary intake between treatments and most of the parameters of MetS were not altered. Compared to the placebo period, HDL cholesterol (HDL-c) was higher while body mass index, waist circumference, and the LDL-c/HDL-c ratio were lower during TA-65 treatments (p < 0. 05). Negative correlations of changes in HDL-c and CRP (r = -0. 511, p < 0. 01) and HDL-c and alanine aminotransferase (r = -0. 61, p < 0. 001) were observed during the treatments, suggesting that the favorable changes observed in HDL-c were associated with decreases in inflammation. Telomere length was not changed from baseline even after 3 months of TA-65 treatment. Conclusion: TA-65 slightly improved key markers of cardiovascular disease risk, while sustaining telomere length in patients with MetS

Major Advisor

Dr. Maria Luz-Fernandez