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, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
(OrganicJar) Research conducted at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences discovered that cells from individuals who take a multivitamin have a younger biological age than cells from individuals who don’t take a multivitamin. Researchers looked at the length of telomeres, DNA sequences at the end of chromosomes that shorten as cells replicate and age.
The ageing and lifespan of normal, healthy cells are linked to the telomerase shortening, which limits cells to a fixed number of divisions. During cell replication, the telomeres function by ensuring the cell’s chromosomes do not fuse with each other or rearrange, which can lead to cancer. Elizabeth Blackburn, a telomere pioneer at the University of California San Francisco, likened telomeres to the ends of shoelaces, without which the lace would unravel.
Dr. Honglei Chen from the NIEH noted that telomere length may therefore be a marker of biological ageing, and that multivitamins may beneficially affect telomere length via modulation of oxidative stress and chronic inflammation.
With each replication the telomeres shorten, and when the telomeres are totally consumed, the cells are destroyed. Previous studies have also reported that telomeres are highly susceptible to oxidative stress.
In an attempt to identify specific nutrients that could be behind the observations, a positive relationship between telomere length and intakes of vitamins C and E from foods was observed.
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