A new study has found increased levels of Vitamin D are associated with longer telomeres. Telomeres are found at the end of every chromosome and help with keeping our chromosomes protected as well as protecting chromosomes from binding with other DNA or fusing into rings. Researchers can use the length of a cell’s telomere to determine how many more times a cell will replicate itself, in addition to determining a cell’s age. Every time a cell replicates the telomeres shorten. When the telomeres are gone the cell is destroyed (apoptosis). Based on prior studies telomeres are vulnerable to oxidative stress as well as inflammation.
Data from three groups was analyzed. The groups were determined by age with over 1500 participating adults between the ages of 20 and 39, over 1300 participating adults between the ages of 40 and 59 and almost 1400 participating adults 60 years of age and above. Researchers found that for every 10-nmol increase in the levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D), the non-active “Storage” form of Vitamin D, there was a .03-kbp longer telomere in leukocytes (white blood cells) in the 40 – 59 year old age group.
Further investigation is needed to access the clinical impact of the results of this study.
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