Vitamin D protects telomeres

Telomeres are the end-caps that protect each strand of chromosomes in every cell. As cells divide, telomeres shorten, eventually preventing cell division. The longer the telomere, the younger biological age of the organism. Shorter telomeres have a link to type 2 diabetes. In this study, 34 people with type 2 diabetes and low levels of vitamin D—less than 30 nanograms per milliliter of blood—took 4,000 IU of vitamin D per day.

After six months, activity levels of telomerase—the enzyme the body needs to synthesize telomeres—had increased 28 percent. Doctors said the study shows that vitamin D supplements may prevent or delay the progress of disease by reactivating telomerase.

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