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Vitamin D and sunshine can Slow Ageing
Stay young for more five years with healthy levels of vitamin D, which may slow the aging process and protect against age-related diseases, says a study by British scientists of London based King's College.
Study team leader, Brent Richards, said, "These results are exciting because they demonstrate for the first time that people who have higher levels of vitamin D may age more slowly than people with lower levels of vitamin D. This could help explain how vitamin D has a protective effect on many age-related diseases, such as heart disease and cancer. What's interesting is that there's a huge body of evidence that shows sunshine ages your skin-but it also increases your vitamin D levels. So, like many times in medicine, we find there's a trade-off."
Observing the vitamin D levels in 2,160 women between 18-79 years of age, the study analyzed their white blood cells for genetic signs of aging. Women were categorized into three groups based on their vitamin D levels.
Scientists at the London School of Medicine, St. Thomas' Hospital of London, and the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey used leukocyte telomere length in study.
Leukocyte telomeres, the lengths of genetic material that cap the free ends of DNA in a cell, are the best reliable measures of a person's age. As the age increases, the leukocyte telomeres shorten and the DNA becomes highly unstable, eventually the cell dies.
The study findings showed that women with the highest vitamin D levels had longer leukocyte telomeres than those with lowest vitamin D levels. During summer, skin produces Vitamin D with help of sunlight. In winter, when the sunshine is less, vitamin D is obtained from fortified products such as milk, soy milk and cereal grains. Cod liver oil, wild salmon, Atlantic mackerel, shrimp and sardines also contain Vitamin D in certain amount.
Study's co-author Tim Spector, said, "Although it might sound absurd, it's possible that the same sunshine which may increase our risk of skin cancer may also have a healthy effect on the aging process in general."
Earlier research found that shortened leukocyte telomere is related to risk for heart disease and an indication of chronic inflammation.Lifestyle factors may affect telomere length; these may include obesity, smoking and lack of physical activity.
The study is published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
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.
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.
Shorter days mean less exposure to the sun. We generally warn about over-exposure and the risk of skin cancer, but under-exposure? Not getting enough sun may reduce your body's Vitamin D. Good levels may mean a longer life.
Extract from Dr. Jay Adlersberg.
Shorter days mean less exposure to the sun. We generally warn about over-exposure and the risk of skin cancer, but under-exposure? An article in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition says not getting enough sun may reduce your body's Vitamin D. So what? Good levels may mean a longer life.
Vitamin D comes from the sun. Sunlight stimulates the skin to make the vitamin. But with fall here, the sun is up less and less. That's not good for any of us, especially with the study showing that Vitamin D is linked to longevity.
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"There are diseases like osteo-arthritis and autoimmune diseases that are associated with Vitamin D deficiency," Dr. Wahida Karmally said. The study looked not at deficiency, but at more than 2,000 women with all sorts of Vitamin D blood levels. Researchers measured genetic factors linked to longevity. Those with the highest Vitamin D levels had improvement in these factors that are equivalent to five extra years of life.
During winter even when there's not a cloud in the sky, there's not enough sunlight to make adequate amounts of Vitamin D.