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"Grow YounGer" NutrieNts i take every Day 6 Page 44 | Abby's Magazine - Nutri onists have long been interested in the dynamics of telomere length in the body, and how telomeres figure in to human health and life expectancy. Telomeres were first discovered in 1973 by Alexey Olovnikov. He found that the ny units of DNA at the very end of each chromosome—the telomere—shorten with me because they cannot replicate completely each me the cell divides and they may be the most powerful biological clock that has yet to be iden fied. Hence, as you get older, your telomeres get shorter and shorter. Eventually, DNA replica on and cell division ceases completely, at which point you die. However, a growing body of research is showing that certain nutrients play a huge role in protec ng telomere length, greatly affec ng how long you live. one waY nutrition affects LonGevitY For example, in one recent study, scien sts found that the B vitamin folate plays an important part in maintenance of DNA integrity and DNA methyla on, which in turn influences telomere length. Researchers also found that women who use vitamin B12 supplements have longer telomeres than those who don't. Vitamin D3, zinc, iron, omega-3 fa y acids, and vitamins C and E also influence telomere length. This supports the findings of an earlier study from 2009, which provided the first epidemiologic evidence that the use of mul vitamins by women is associated with longer telomeres. According to the authors: "Compared with nonusers, the rela ve telomere length of leukocyte DNA was on average 5.1% longer among daily mul vitamin users. In the analysis of micronutrients, higher intakes of vitamins C and E from foods were each associated with longer telomeres, even a er adjustment for mul vitamin use." The mechanism by which nutrients appear to affect telomere length is by influencing the ac vity of telomerase, an enzyme that adds the telomeric repeats to the ends of your DNA. Thousands of studies have been published on telomerase, and they are well- known to maintain genomic stability, prevent the inappropriate ac va on of DNA damage pathways, and regulate cellular aging. In 1984, Elizabeth Blackburn PhD, professor of biochemistry and biophysics at UCSF, discovered that the enzyme telomerase actually has the ability to lengthen the telomere by synthesizing DNA from an RNA primer. She, along with Carol Greider and Jack Szostak were jointly awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2009 "for the discovery of how chromosomes are protected by telomeres and the enzyme telomerase." top 12 KeY nutrients for Life extension The featured study found the following nutrients to have a beneficial impact on telomere length: Below, I will review a few of those, plus several addi onal recommenda ons for what I believe are among the most important nutrients to maintain and promote telomere lengthening. Naturally, any a empt at a list like this is bound to fail to some degree, as we really need a balance of a wide variety of nutrients. However, I believe it's possible to make some general recommenda ons based on the fact that most people are sorely deficient in many of these key nutrients that we know are important for op mal health. Others, such as astaxanthin and curcumin, just have such robust scien fic support that it would seem foolish to ignore them when the benefits are so profound. With that said, here are my recommenda ons for the top 12 an -aging nutrients, followed by two bonus strategies that do not involve taking supplements that can also help radically increase your lifespan by protec ng your telomeres. I have listed the 12 nutrients below in the order that I believe they have in importance. I personally take the first six every day but the vitamin D is through sun exposure, not through an oral supplement. 1. VITAMIN D In one study of more than 2,000 women, those with higher vitamin D levels were found to have fewer aging-related changes in their DNA, as well as lowered inflammatory By Dr. Mercola Zinc Vitamin C Vitamin D Vitamin E Vitamin B12 Omega-3

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