Vitamins do keep you young

The other day I met someone who I hadn’t seen in 20 years and very sweetly she said ‘oh you never change! How do you do it?’

My answer, slightly tongue in cheek….. vitamins and minerals. Well it seems that I am right!

In a long-term study involving 913 pairs of twins, Danish researchers found that the longer your telomares (the caps at the ends of your chromosomes that keep the strands of your DNA from fraying), the younger you stay, and the way to grow your telomares is with certain vitamins.

So in contrast, cells with shorter telomeres begin to slow down and act old. Eventually, the damage makes you age more quickly. So you look older, feel older, and are more vulnerable to age-related disease and death.

Keep your telomeres from getting shorter and you can actually be healthier as you get older. Your immune system will get younger, your cells will act younger and you will be able to keep doing what you love – as well as things you’ve never done before – no matter what your biological age is!

So how do you maintain your telomere length. One way is to activate telomerase, an enzyme found in all of your cells that tells your telomeres to rebuild themselves. Omega 3 can do this.

A new study in the Journal of the American Medical Association followed about 600 people over a full five years. They found that daily supplements of omega-3 significantly increased telomerase activity. Specific other vitamin supplements were also found to increase its activity.

The study showed that people who take a daily multivitamin had younger DNA and had 5.1 percent longer telomeres than non-users. In my opinion it is important to take a good natural multi and I recommend a liquid supplement which is more easily absorbed.

Vitamin B12 supplements were also found to increase telomere length, and vitamin C and vitamin E increase the lifespan of cells by preventing telomere shortening.

Why are these vitamins so effective at maintaining telomere length? Well, it’s their powerful antioxidant activity. Your telomeres are extremely vulnerable to oxidative stress and vitamin C and vitamin E help to prevent that.

It’s always a good idea to start with eating foods that give you the vitamins and minerals that keep you healthy. Here’s a list of good food sources of the telomere-supporting vitamins:

Foods Sources of Vitamins B12, C and E

Vitamin B12
Beef
Beef Liver
Salmon
Haddock
Tuna
Trout
Milk

Vitamin C
Kiwi
Strawberry
Orange
Grapefruit
Mango
Red and green peppars
Raspberries

Vitamin E
Greens
Spinach
Broccolli
Almonds
Peanuts
Olive Oil
Kiwi

It is recommended that you get:

• At least 100 mcg per day of vitamin B12 – and up to 500 mcg for energy
• 3,000 mg per day of natural vitamin C – up to 20,000 mg in times of stress or sickness
• A natural vitamin E complex vitamin of 400 IU per day

In another study, the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition looked at more than 2,000 women of all ages. The more vitamin D they had in their bodies, the longer their telomeres were and those women who supplemented with vitamin D had longer telomeres than those who didn’t.

Unfortunately we can’t get our Vitamin D from the sun during the winter months so you can eat some of the same oily fish that gives you your omega-3. There’s also vitamin D in egg yolks and orange juice.

If you’d like to get your vitamin D in a supplement, make sure it’s vitamin D3 (Cholecalciferol). 2,000 IUs a day is a good amount to take.

Another way of increasing the telomerase activity is to meditate! A recent study at the University of California-Davis looked at people who were at a wellness retreat and found that after three months, people doing meditation training had 33 percent higher telomerase activity in their white blood cells than those who weren’t meditating.

So start meditating now!

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2 Comments

  1. As an author of the “Immortality edge” the only book (so far!) written to educate the non scientist on telomeres. I think you need to look more closely at the list of supplements you have claiming telomerase elongation. Most are not active at all in terms of lengthening telomeres. A common mistake made by people who don’t understand telomerase and telomerase using the term “longer telomeres”? Longer than what? Longer than they would be if you did not take something is not the same as Lengthening your telomeres. It simply means you’ve slowed down the loss. A good thing to be sure. But there is no simple over the counter supplement taken in human doses that has been shown to actually add length to your telomeres other than TA-65. Fish oil is excellent for slowing loss green tea is probably useful maybe multis and possibly vitamin D but none of them turn on telomerase enough to lengthen telomeres in repeatable human studies. NONE.
    The distinction is important because adding length to the telomere seems to improve health greatly and probably improves longevity as well rather than just “slowing down the aging process” It may be possible to actually reverse it by adding length to the telomeres. So far only TA-65 does that in people. Best Dr Dave

  2. Hi Dr Dave

    Thank you so much for your comments on telomeres. I am really interested in reading your book, where can I get it? Is it possible to obtain TA-65? The last time I heard about it the price was exorbitant!
    The information in my blog came from an American Dr, who has also researched anti ageing and who I have found very interesting, but I do now understand the distinction between increasing telomere length and preventing shortening.

    Many thanks.

    Alison