Vitamin B12 shown to slow down telemere degradationPosted by Admin on May Sun, 2012 in Dieting & Nutrition, Misc. | 0 comments
A study conducted at the National Institutes of Health has provided the introductory evidence that the use of multi-vitamins with Vitamin B12 is associated with longer telomeres,which are the protective end caps of chromosomes that shorten as a cell ages. This study was reported March 11, 2009 in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Telomere length has been proposed as a marker of “aging”, biologically speaking. Short telomeres have been linked to shorter lifespan and higher risk of some chronic diseases.
During the study, 65% of the participants reported consuming multivitamin supplements once per month or more with 74% of them consuming one on a daily basis. 89% of these multivitamins were one a day formulas, 21% were an antioxidant combination, and 17% were B-Complexes or “stress-tab”.
The researchers found that telemeres were 5.1 % longer on average in the daily users as compared to the non-daily users. Increased length of telomeres was associated with the antioxidant and 1-a-day users, but not exactly with stress-tabs or B complex users. Vitamin B12 supplements were linked to telomere length and iron was linked to shorter telomeres. When food nutrients were observed, vitamins C & E were found to be protectors against telomere degredation.
Telomeres are particularly vulnerable to oxidative stress and inflammation induces oxidative stress while decreasing the activity of telomerase (the enzyme that maintains telomeres). Dietary antioxidants, B vitamins, and particular minerals help reduce oxidative stress as well as inflammation, and are therefore useful in maintaining telomere length. Vitamins C and E have also been shown to increase cellular life span.
The authors concluded, “Our study provides preliminary evidence linking multivitamin use to longer leukocyte telomeres. This finding should be further evaluated in future epidemiologic studies and its implications concerning aging the etiology of chronic diseases should be carefully evaluated.”