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Sunshine vitamin may help slow aging

Thursday, November 29th, 2007

A study of 2,100 female twin pairs found those with higher vitamin D levels may knock off five years of aging, British and American researchers say.

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Researchers at the London School of Medicine; St. Thomas’ Hospital, in London; and the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey used a genetic marker — leukocyte telomere length — and found those with the highest vitamin D levels had longer leukocyte telomere length, indicating lower levels of inflammation and body stress. The telomere difference between those with the highest and lowest vitamin D levels was equivalent to five years of aging, the researchers said.

Previous research found that shortened leukocyte telomere length is linked to risk for heart disease and could be an indication of chronic inflammation — a key determinant in the biology of aging. Several lifestyle factors affect telomere length, including obesity, smoking and lack of physical activity, but the researchers noted that boosting vitamin D levels is a simple change.

The findings are published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

— From United Press International


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