Background: Telomerase Activator 65 (TA-65), a compound extracted from Astragalus membranaceus has been used in Chinese traditional medicine for extending lifespan. Scarce information exists on the effects of TA-65 on parameters of metabolic syndrome (MetS).
Methods: We recruited 40 patients with MetS to determine the effects of TA-65 on dyslipidemias, hypertension, and oxidative stress in this at-risk population. The study was a double-blind, randomized crossover design in which patients were allocated to consume either 16 mg daily of a TA-65 supplement or a 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, glucose, CReactive Protein (CRP), liver enzymes, and glycosylated hemoglobin were measured using a Cobas c-111. Inflammatory cytokines were measured by Luminex technology and markers of oxidative stress by the use of spectroscopy.
Results: Compared to the placebo period, HDL cholesterol (HDL-C) was higher while body mass index, waist circumference, and the LDL/HDL ratio were lower (p < 0.05) during TA-65 treatment. In addition, plasma tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) was lower during the TA-65 period (p< 0.05). Positive correlations were observed in changes between the placebo and the TA-65 periods in HDL-C and CRP (r = -0.511, p < 0.01), alanine aminotransferase (r = -0.61, p < 0.001) and TNF-α (r = -0.550, p < 0.001) suggesting that the favorable changes observed in HDL were associated with decreases in inflammation.
Conclusion: TA-65 improved key markers of cardiovascular disease risk, which were also associated with reductions in inflammation.