Telomere Length Linked to Nutrition in Animals and Humans

Posted by: on Sep 28, 2011 | No Comments

With the large number of recent studies attributing the shortening of telomeres to aging, Ligi Paul, Ph.D., of the USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University has reviewed the types of nutrients which may influence telomere length. “Of interest to nutritionists, telomere length has been shown to be associated with nutritional status in human and animal studies. Healthy lifestyles and diets are positively correlated with telomere length,” Dr. Paul wrote.

Twelve different vitamins, minerals and bioactives have been identified to enhance telomere protection and keep aging at bay.  They include the B vitamins Folate and B12, Niacin, Vitamin A, Vitamin D (which lowers levels of CRP, a harmful protein), Vitamins C and E (which limit oxidative stress to telomeres), Magnesium (which is a required mineral for DNA replication and repair), Zinc, Iron (which is only good in small doses), the spice turmeric and omega-3 fatty acids (which both stimulate antioxidants), and Polyphenols (from grape seeds and green tea, which also protect DNA from  oxidative stress).

Such information helps to explain why those who take multivitamins are more likely to possess longer telomeres.

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