Active young women need nutritional supplements, women who took multi-vitamins had healthier DNA and women with healthy lifestyles avoided heart attacks, in three new studies.
In a review of fatigue studies, doctors found that young adults—often women with demanding lifestyles who are physically active, regularly diet and who typically make poor eating choices—are likely to complain of low energy. The researchers believe that when there is no underlying disease, there could be a lack of vitamins and minerals, and recommend taking supplements consistently over time to eliminate any nutritional deficiency.
Doctors in a multi-vitamin study explained that telomeres are the structures at the ends of chromosomes that protect DNA, acting like the tip on a shoelace that keeps it from unraveling. Telomeres shorten with age and disease and are especially susceptible to damage from oxidation and inflammation.
Researchers evaluated the diets of over 500 women, aged 35 to 74, and measured the length of a particular white blood cell telomere that is a good indicator of age. Scientists found that telomeres in women who took a daily multi-vitamin were over five percent longer than telomeres of women who did not take multi-vitamins. Doctors also noted that those who got more vitamin C or vitamin E had longer telomeres than those who got less of these nutrients.
In a heart attack prevention study, doctors followed over 24,000 women who began the study without cancer, cardiovascular disease or diabetes. Over six years, researchers identified five major lifestyle and diet patterns that when combined, reduced the chances of having a heart attack by 92 percent. The three lifestyle patterns were: 1) non-smoking, 2) physically active, and 3) smaller waist size—indicating healthy weight. The two diet patterns were: 1) a very small amount of alcohol—less than 2/10ths of an ounce per day, and 2) high amounts of fresh vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes and fish.
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition; 2009, Electronic Pre-publication