The telomere activator-65 (TA-65), extracted from the Chinese herb Radis astragali, has been shown to have protective effects against a number of chronic conditions including insulin resistance, neural depression, cardiovascular disease and age-related macular degeneration among others. Telomeres are protective nucleotide repeats (TTAGGG) located at the end of chromosomes. These telomeres are shortened after cell division and trigger cell senescence and tissue degeneration. Once they become quite short the effects of TA-65 on chronic disease are related to its function of activating telomerase and leading to increases in telomere length. Telomere shortening is associated with aging and age-related diseases. Cell and animal studies have shown a protective effect against age-related macular degeneration, oxidative stress and cardio metabolic risk factors. In this review, some of the more important findings related to the action of TA-65 are highlighted. There is a need for more clinical trials to determine specific effects in populations at risk for chronic disease.