A study conducted at the National Institutes of Health suggests that one simple thing may help you do that — taking a daily multivitamin.
In this study, women (54.6 ± 9.7 years old, CLICK HERE for other details of the study participants) who took a daily multivitamin had, on average, 5.1% longer telomeres, the equivalent of approximately 9.8 additional years of life.
Researchers lead by Honglei Chen of the Epidemiology Branch examined end segments on DNA strands. The segments, called telomeres, shorten a little each time a cell divides. Telomere length may be a marker for aging, since shorter telomeres have been linked with an increased risk of death and chronic diseases, especially heart disease and cancer. That’s because, as telomeres shorten, the cell either no longer divides, or divides with DNA errors.
Telomeres are particularly vulnerable to oxidative stress. And inflammation induces oxidative stress and lowers the activity of telomerase, the enzyme that that is responsible for maintaining telomeres.
Multivitamin supplements represent a major source of micronutrients, which may affect telomere length by modulating oxidative stress and chronic inflammation.
Vitamin C and vitamin E, B vitamins (especially vitamin B12 and folic acid) and specific minerals can help reduce oxidative stress and inflammation. In fact, vitamins C and E have been shown in cell cultures to slow telomere shortening and increase cellular life span.
A research team headed by UC San Francisco psychologist Aoife O'Donovan studied telomere length in the immune system cells (the ones that ward off disease) of postmenopausal women ranging from 50 to 86 years old. Not only did the pessimists have poorer immune system functioning, but they also had shorter telomeres than the optimists.
Xu Q, Parks CG, DeRoo LA, Cawthon RM, Sandler DP, Chen H. Multivitamin use and telomere length in women. Am J Clin Nutr. 2009 Jun;89(6):1857-63.
O'Donovan, A., Lin, J., Dhabhar, F. S., Wolkowitz, O., Tillie, J. M., Blackburn, E., et al. (2009). Pessimism correlates with leukocyte telomere shortness and elevated interleukin-6 in post-menopausal women. Brain, Behavior, and Immunity 23, 446-449.
Inside the center or nucleus of a cell, our genes are located on twisted, double-stranded molecules of DNA called chromosomes. At the ends of the chromosomes are stretches of DNA called telomeres, which protect our genetic data, make it possible for cells to divide and hold some secrets to how we age and get cancer.
Telomeres have been compared with the plastic tips on shoelaces because they prevent chromosome ends from fraying and sticking to each other, which would scramble an organism's genetic information to cause cancer, other diseases or death.
Yet, each time a cell divides, the telomeres get shorter. When they get too short, the cell no longer can divide and becomes inactive or "senescent" or dies. This process is associated with aging, cancer and a higher risk of death. So telomeres also have been compared with a bomb fuse.
for adults up to 50+ years old
Per Centrum tab Vit A 2,000 iu, β-carotene 3,000 iu, vit E 50 iu, vit C 90 mg, folic acid 600 mcg, vit B1 2.25 mg, vit B2 3.2 mg, niacinamide 40 mg, vit B6 5 mg, vit B12 20 mcg, vit D 400 iu, biotin 45 mcg, pantothenic acid 10 mg, Ca 175 mg, phosphorus 125 mg, iodine 150 mcg, Fe 10 mg, Mg 50 mg, copper 2 mg, manganese 5 mg, K 40 mg, Cl 36 mg, chromium 25 mcg, molybdenum 25 mcg, selenium 25 mcg, Zn 15 mg, nickel 5 mcg, tin 10 mcg, vanadium 10 mcg, silicon 10 mcg.
Centrum Silver age-adjusted for adults 50+
Per Centrum Silver tab Vit A 3,000 iu, β-carotene 3,000 iu, vit E 75 iu, vit C 90 mg, folic acid 600 mcg, vit B1 2.25 mg, vit B2 3.2 mg, niacinamide 40 mg, vit B6 8 mg, vit B12 25 mcg, vit D 400 iu, biotin 45 mcg, pantothenic acid 10 mg, Ca 200 mg, phosphorus 125 mg, iodine 150 mcg, Fe 4 mg, Mg 50 mg, copper 2 mg, manganese 5 mg, K 80 mg, Cl 72 mg, chromium 100 mcg, molybdenum 25 mcg, selenium 25 mcg, Zn 15 mg, nickel 5 mcg, tin 10 mcg, vanadium 10 mcg, silicon 10 mcg Picture Credit