Telomere Length and Nutrition

24 January 2020 2 Comments

We already know that the telomere length is a key biomarker of our tissue renewal capacity and therefore an important indicator of our aging process.  Given this fact, this brings us to the questions of “How can we take care of our telomeres?” and “What measures can we take to preserve and maintain our telomeres as healthy as possible?” Below you can find various nutritional recommendations that can help you keep your telomere in the best condition possible.

A recent study published by a research group CIBERON (Center for Biomedical Research Network of Obesity and Nutrition), consisting of bibliography revision of scientific literature studies (59 observational studies and 11 clinical trials) that assess the relationship between the consumption of different foods, nutrients or diets with telomeric length, has concluded that a diet based on foods rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds is associated with a longer telomere length.

On one hand, foods including fruits, vegetables, nuts and legumes that contains a high amount of these compounds are associated with longer telomeres. On the other hand, a diet that consists of saturated fats, alcohol, sugary drinks and that includes high consumption of processed meat will very likely lead to greater telomere shortening.

The below shown compounds are known to be have a positive effect on our telomeres helping their maintenance:

  • Omega-3 fatty acids

The anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, induced by these fatty-acids, can reduce telomere shortening as they decrease the oxidative damage of the DNA. Examples of foods rich in Omega-3 include fish and seafood, some nuts such as walnuts and soybean oils.

  • Polyphenols

Found in foods such as green tea, olive oil, red wine or whole grains are antioxidants and anti-inflammatory and have a positive impact on telomeres. This was also demonstrated in a study where mice were given polyphenols grape seed enriched diet.

  • Vitamins
    • Vitamin A – Contained in carrots, apricots, sweet potatoes or pumpkins as provitamin A, has an important role in the immune response.
    • Vitamin B9 / Folic acid – Related to the immune system and the integrity of DNA and its methylation, which has an impact on telomeres. This vitamin can be found in green leafy vegetables such as spinach and arugula, broccoli and legumes including beans and chickpeas.
    • Vitamin C – can be found in foods such as oranges, kiwis, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, pomegranates, parsley or red pepper and has the ability to eliminate reactive oxygen species.
    • Vitamin D – A scientific article published in 2017 in the “Journal of Nutrition” concluded that those individuals with low Vitamin D had shorter telomeres than those whose levels were adequate. It can be found in foods such as blue and fatty fish (salmon, tuna or sardine) mushrooms, dairy products and avocados however, the main source of this vitamin is exposure to sunlight.
  • Zinc and magnesium

These two micronutrients are associated with longer telomeres since they are known to be key compounds for maintenance of DNA stability. In order for your body not to lack these, you can include cocoa, nuts or seeds of different vegetables in your diet.

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2 Comments

  • great article very informative and if you dont mind I would like to add a few details to the above mentioned supplement suggestions.

    1. Omega 3 fatty acids be sure to take a good quality products many lesser quality Omegs 3 supps are slightly rancid ( maybe the reason your getting fish burps) fish oil is very fragile and prone to rancidity and when they are rancid they actually have a negative effect on your health.
    2. Folic acid many people do not convert folic acid into the active form Folate and can result in high Homocystein levels so I would recommend taking the active form Folate to play it safe.
    3 when supplementing w/.Vitamin D always smart to take Vit K vitamin D’s bio regulator along with it so calcium deposits don’t end up in the wring places such as the arteries.
    live long and prosper

    • Life Length says:

      Dear Michael,

      Thank you for your response! We appreciate all constructive contributions!

      We would always recommend a non supplemented diet whenever it is possible to incorporate all nutrients from real whole foods or when you do not have a medical condition. Anyhow, the more information we have the better decissions we take, so again thank you for this useful information.

      Do not hesitate in contacting us at info@lifelength.com if you have any other doubt!

      Life Length’s Team

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