I have heard a little bit of the telomere information circling in academic research groups. I’ve always been wary of it as a cure for ageing.
Essentially every time a cell divides the telomeres shorten a little bit due to the fact that DNA replication can only occur in one direction. When the telomeres shorten too much you begin to lose actual coding information and eventually the cell is no longer viable.
I do believe that there is some truth to the telomere idea as a marker of cell senescence. It actually marries well with research that shows decreasing caloric intake can increase longevity. If you are eating less and have a slower metabolic rate, then cells will divide at a slower rate and telomeres will shorten slower. It has been shown that cells only have a certain number of cell divisions before they die.
My only concern is that telomere shortening is very likely a natural phenomenon for a reason. With each additional cell division you increase the likelihood of a replication error, and therefore a cancerous or otherwise dangerous mutation. Telomere shortening may be a way for cells to individually monitor the number of divisions, thereby acting as a natural, yet important, self destruct signal.
A little bit of wiki
It also seems that telomeres are more susceptible to oxidative stress, which I think is also a protective mechanism. The entire cell would be exposed to the stressor, potentially leading to mutations.However, it has been hypothesized that there is a trade-off between cancerous tumor suppression and tissue repair capacity, in that lengthening telomeres might slow aging and in exchange increase vulnerability to cancer (Weinstein and Ciszek, 2002).