Lengthening Telomere, a DNA protein, may be a key to extending life to much older than 100 years.
Telomeres are DNA-protein complexes that protect the end of human chromosomes from DNA damage or fusion with neighboring chromosomes. Nutritionists have long been interested in the dynamics of telomere length in the human body, and how telomeres factor into human health, lengthening life expectancy, and even have pondered the possibility of Immortality. Research is showing that certain nutrients play a huge part in protecting telomere length, ultimately determining how long you live.
“The best analogy that we have for telomeres is that they’re like the little tabs on the end of shoelaces,” says Dr Adam Rutherford, a geneticist and author of Creation: The Origin of Life.
Just as the tabs, or “aglets”, hold the strands of the laces together, he says, telomeres – repetitive stretches of DNA on the end of each chromosome – perform the same function.
“Chromosomes are made up of a double helix, two strands of DNA, and they need an endpoint,” says Rutherford. “Without telomeres they’d unravel, like two bits of string that have been tied together.”
Studies have shown that certain Vitamins contribute to the length of a Telomere. Scientists at the European Journal of Nutrition (EJON) found that the B vitamin folate also plays an important part in maintenance of DNA integrity and DNA methylation, which in turn influence telomere length. Researchers have found that women who use vitamin B12 supplements have longer telomeres than those who don’t. Vitamin D3, zinc, iron, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamins C and E also influence telomere length.