’90s supermodel sensation Veronica Webb is undoubtedly iconic. The first African American to sign an exclusive cosmetics contract with a major company, Webb was a natural beauty and fashion star from the start—and she’s since used her star power for good, working on behalf of various charitable AIDS organizations. In addition to gracing runways and raising awareness, Webb writes for severals magazines, including Elle, Interview, and Esquire while penning her own works of creative nonfiction. That is, of course, when she’s not acting in movies and TV shows or collecting artifacts from shipwrecks (!!).
It’s no wonder that we’re all ears when it comes to Webb’s beauty advice. Clearly, this renaissance woman is full of interesting surprises.
As it turns out, Webb swears by a unique supplement called TA-65 MD. Unlike many beauty supplements designed to boost nail strength or clarify skin, this stuff promises to go a little deeper by protecting and rebuilding telomeres, the “caps” on the end of DNA that help prevent DNA damage. As we age, these caps naturally grow shorter, resulting in cellular aging. As Webb explains it, telomeres are “sort of like a sweater that starts to tear apart the older it gets.”
With TA-65 MD, however, Webb maintains that she’s able to stay fit, feel vital, and look great. The maker of TA-65 MD, TA Sciences, claims that “by activating an enzyme called telomerase, the TA-65 compound can help slow down and possibly reverse age and lifestyle-related telomere shortening.” TA-65 MD is a plant-based supplement, featuring astragalus as its main ingredient. Astragalus is an adaptogen, a type of herb that supports the body’s stress response.
While Webb and many others have experienced pleasing results from taking the spendy supplement, this nutraceutical isn’t without a bit of controversy. After all, claims that a supplement can reverse DNA damage are pretty bold even considering how much research went into the development of the product. Moreover, because the product doesn’t require a prescription, it is not regulated by the FDA, meaning any claims about its health effects haven’t been vetted by the government.
That said, it’s hard to deny that the idea sounds rather promising—and Webb is probably on to something. Instead of, say, drinking collagen, she’s targeting the root of aging—shortening telomeres.
If you’d like to do the same (without shelling out for TA-65 MD supplements), there’s a surprisingly simple way. It does require some time and effort, however.
Regular exercise shows promising results when it comes to naturally lengthening telomeres. In fact, regular moderate exercisers experienced up to a 10% increase in telomere length (compared to a control group that experienced a 3% decrease).
In addition to genetic health, exercise plays a key role in the health of cells themselves: “The mitochondrial function of lifelong exercisers is like that of someone half their age,” explains Daniel Moore of the University of Toronto. “One of the best anti-aging pills is to stay active.”
As we all know, the benefits of exercise are extensive, and wouldn’t you know, exercise as a beauty supplement is supermodel-endorsed. Veronica Webb commits herself to learning a new style of workout every year–she’s mastered barre, yoga, dance class, a marathon, and, oh yeah, figure skating! Seriously, renaissance woman!
Have you tried Veronica Webb’s favorite supplement for aging? How do you stay vital?
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Photo: Veronica Webb via Instagram