Should You Get Your Telomeres Tested?

Telomeres, located at the ends of your chromosomes, are generally longer when you're young.

The Claim: Sending some saliva or blood to a testing firm that checks your
telomeres (caps on the tips of chromosomes) can reveal if your lifestyle is prematurely aging you.

Oz Says: Don't bother. "For the majority of healthy people, there is no medically indicated reason to have your telomeres tested," says Carol Greider, PhD, who shared a Nobel Prize in 2009 for her research on telomeres. A snapshot of how long yours are doesn't tell you much about how you're aging. There's a huge spectrum of normal telomere lengths, and it's not yet clear what variations in that range mean. You don't need a $300 test to tell you to work on stay-young basics like eating well, relaxing more, and being active. You know that stuff already!

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The Verdict: SKIP IT

This story originally appeared in the March 2016 issue of Dr. Oz The Good Life.

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