Telomere Testing

Telomere testing is a new supplementary metrics applied in Crete Fertility Centre enhancing a couple’s tailored reproductive planning.

What Telomeres are

Telomeres, found at the ends of chromosomes, safeguard them from degradation or fusion following cell division. With aging, the process of DNA replication results in the gradual erosion of DNA from the ends of chromosomes, culminating in critically short telomeres. This progression can ultimately lead to DNA fragmentation and the onset of age-related diseases.

Why measure your Telomeres

Telomere length is a marker of:

  • Cellular health
  • Aging
  • Infertility
  • Neurogegenerative diseases
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Chronic lymphocytic leukemia
  • Pulmonary fibrosis
  • Colon cancer
  • Other

Since telomere length can be influenced by environmental and lifestyle factors, the characteristics of telomeres can serve as a biomarker for assessing real-life risks.

Does lifestyle have any effect on telomere length ?

Genetic and environmental factors affect the rate of telomere length shortening.

On the one hand, factors that positively influence telomere length are nutrition, Vitamin D, exercise, normal body weight, antioxidants, stress management, omega 3 and telomerase activators.

On the other hand, factors that negatively influence telomere length are smoking, alcohol, stress, obesity, drugs, poor diet, lack of sleep, oxidation and lack of Vitamins.

The Telomere Link to Fertility: Understanding its Impact

Telomere length plays a crucial role in fertility, affecting the quality of both oocytes and sperm. Shorter telomeres in egg cells may signal cellular aging and diminished fertility. Similarly, shorter telomeres in sperm cells are linked to lower sperm quality, impacting male fertility and potentially affecting offspring health.

Moreover, telomere length also plays a role in pregnancy outcomes, influencing the development of fertilized eggs and embryo health. This connection significantly influences the likelihood of successful implantation and a healthy pregnancy.

The gradual shortening of telomeres over time is a natural aspect of aging, contributing to the decline in fertility associated with age. Advanced maternal and paternal age, often accompanied by various reproductive challenges, may be influenced by the dynamics of telomeres in reproductive cells.

Telomeres and women fertility

Fertility factors associated with long telomeres

  • High biological age
  • Multiple births
  • Estradiol levels
  • Nucleolin expression
  • Avoid premature ovarian failure
  • Clear cell over cancer

Fertility deprovement associated with short telomeres

  • Post-menopausal women who attained parity
  • Recurrent miscarriage
  • Ovarian insufficiency
  • Oocyte maturation

Telomere lenghth decrease from 21 to 39 years.

Telomeres and men fertility

The link between long telomeres, fertility and age in men is that long telomere results in prolonged fertility and long lifespan.

Fertility improvement associated with long telomeres

  • DNA integrity maintenance
  • Normal sperm count
  • Normal sperm motility

Fertility deprovement associated with short telomeres

  • DNA fragmentation
  • Low sperm count
  • Low sperm motility

What is the procedure

Μeasure your telomere length and manage the health of your cells by metaphase Q-FISH (Quantitative Fluorescence In Situ Hybridization), the most accurate and precise technology which measures each telomere end in each chromosome of your cells.

A small amount of blood is required to measure telomeric ends and to offer:

  • The average, the median, the average of telomeric length, the median of short telomere length and the percentage of critically short and critically long telomeres which are associated with infertility, autoimmune disease, cardiovascular disease, types of cancer, neurological diseases, etc.
  • The impact of your lifestyle on your cellular health
  • The rate you are ageing
  • Your biological age

Here, in Crete Fertility Centre, we provide you strategies for optimizing lifestyle behaviors to support cellular rejuvenation and mitigate age-related decline, thereby offering insights into personalized approaches for managing overall health and extending longevity.

Related bibliography

  1. Vasilopoulos E, Fragkiadaki P, Kalliora C, Fragou D, Docea AO, Vakonaki E, Tsoukalas D, Calina D, Buga AM, Georgiadis G, Mamoulakis C, Makrigiannakis A, Spandidos DA, Tsatsakis A. The association of female and male infertility with telomere length (Review). Int J Mol Med. 2019 Aug;44(2):375-389. doi: 10.3892/ijmm.2019.4225. Epub 2019 May 31. PMID: 31173155; PMCID: PMC6605974.
  2. Fragkiadaki P, Tsoukalas D, Fragkiadoulaki I, Psycharakis C, Nikitovic D, Spandidos DA, Tsatsakis AM. Telomerase activity in pregnancy complications (Review). Mol Med Rep. 2016 Jul;14(1):16-21. doi: 10.3892/mmr.2016.5231. Epub 2016 May 9. PMID: 27175856; PMCID: PMC4918539.
  3. Tsatsakis, A., Tsoukalas, D., Fragkiadaki, P., Vakonaki, E., Tzatzarakis, M., Sarandi, E., Nikitovic, D., Tsilimidos, G., & Alegakis, A. K. (2019). Developing BioTel: A semi-automated spreadsheet for estimating telomere length and biological age. Frontiers in Genetics, 10(FEB), 1–8.
  4. Tsoukalas D, Fragkiadaki P, Docea AO, Alegakis AK, Sarandi E, Vakonaki E, Salataj E, Kouvidi E, Nikitovic D, Kovatsi L, Spandidos DA, Tsatsakis A, Calina D. Association of nutraceutical supplements with longer telomere length. Int J Mol Med. 2019 Jul;44(1):218-226. doi: 10.3892/ijmm.2019.4191. Epub 2019 May 10. PMID: 31115552; PMCID: PMC6559326.

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