According to a U.S. research study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the cells of multivitamin users may have a younger biological age than cells from non-supplement users.
A group of researchers led by Dr. Honglei Chen, MD, PhD from National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences looked at the length of ‘telomeres’, the DNA sequences at the end of chromosomes that shorten as cells replicate and age.
*A “telomere” is a region of repetitive DNA at the end of chromosomes which protects the end of the chromosome from destruction. Its name is derived from the Greek nouns “telos” (end) and “merοs” (root or part).
Over time and with each replication the telomeres will shorten in length. When the telomeres are totally consumed, the cells are subsequently destroyed. Previous studies have also reported that telomeres are highly susceptible to “oxidative stress.”
*”Oxidative stress” A situation in which the environment within cells becomes highly “oxidized”-that is, comes to contain reactive, unstable molecules, particularly those of oxygen. These reactive molecules can attach themselves to proteins and DNA inside the cell and cause damage.
Dr Chen and his co-workers noted that telomere length may therefore be a marker of biological ageing, and that multivitamins may beneficially affect telomere length through their adjustment of oxidative stress and chronic inflammation. And, according to the research results published in the new issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the telomeres of daily multivitamin users may be on average 5.1 per cent longer than in non-users.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) State-of-the-Science Panel, reported that half of the American population routinely use dietary supplements. Recent results of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey showed that 35 per cent of the US adult population regularly consumes one or more types of multivitamin product.
An abstract of Dr. Chen’s report is available at http://www.ajcn.org/cgi/content/abstract/89/6/1857?maxtoshow=&HITS=10&hits=10&RESULTFORMAT=&fulltext=Honglei+Chen&searchid=1&FIRSTINDEX=0&sortspec=relevance&resourcetype=HWCIT
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