November 08, 2007
Telomeres Shorten Quicker If You Have Less Vitamin D

Yet another reminder that you probably ought to increase your vitamin D intake.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (November 8, 2007)- There is a new reason for the 76 million baby boomers to grab a glass of milk. Vitamin D, a key nutrient in milk, could have aging benefits linked to reduced inflammation, according to a new study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

In a genetic study of more than 2,100 female twin pairs ages 19-79, British and American researchers found that higher vitamin D levels were linked to improved genetic measures of lifelong aging and chronic stress. Using a genetic marker called leukocyte telomere length (LTL), they found those with the highest vitamin D levels had longer LTL, indicating lower levels of inflammation and body stress. The telomere difference between those with the highest and lowest vitamin D levels was equivalent to 5 years of aging.

Previous research has found that shortened LTL is linked to risk for heart disease and could be an indication of chronic inflammation a key determinant in the biology of aging. While there are several lifestyle factors that affect telomere length (obesity, smoking and lack of physical activity), the researchers noted that boosting vitamin D levels is a simple change to affect this important marker.

Why use telomere length as a proxy for aging and stress? See my post Telomere Length Indicates Mortality Risk.

Also see my posts Chronic Stress Accelerates Aging As Measured By Telomere Length and Telomeres Wear Down Quicker In Men Than Women. Don't stress out guys. It is slowly killing you.

Share |      Randall Parker, 2007 November 08 09:50 PM  Aging Diet Studies

drtomcor said at November 9, 2007 9:40 AM:

The Vitamin D literature has been amazing. Two good sources for additional information are the, and

Elton said at November 10, 2007 1:38 PM:

Wouldn't the sun be a better source of Vitamin D then milk?

Mthson said at November 11, 2007 2:03 AM:

I've been told by a nutritionist that it's more biologically difficult for your body to convert Vitamin D from sunlight than it is to get it from nutritional sources. I don't know if that's considered certain or not.

Tj. Green said at November 13, 2007 3:48 PM:

Twenty minutes a day,with 40% body exposure,should give you enough vitamin D.

Cori H said at November 28, 2007 3:12 PM:

The darker your skin, the more exposure time you need. That is probably why cancer and cancer death rates are higher among people of African descent. However, you can't get enough from food or from the sun for most of the year in temperate climates.

The Canadian Cancer Society recommends 1000 IU vitamin D3/day. Many vitamin D researchers suggest between 1000 and 5000/day depending on your skin color, sun exposure, age, whether you are pregnant or nursing, etc.

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