Vitamin D & Telomerase Could Help Extend Your Lifespan
Scientific American reported that Elizabeth Blackburn, the discoverer of telomerase had made a truly revolutionary discovery - almost 20 years ago. She’d found a solution to aging already in our genes.
Let me explain why this discovery is so powerful. She and her colleagues had discovered the enzyme telomerase that allows you to rebuild the end part of your chromosomes called the telomere.
Telomeres are like the plastic caps on your shoelaces … only at the ends of your DNA. They keep your chromosomes from unraveling. But here’s the rub…
Each time your cells divide, your DNA copies itself exactly. And every time that happens, the telomeres get a tiny bit shorter. When telomeres get too short, the cell stops dividing. This is because there’s not enough of the “cap” left to stop the DNA from unraveling.
In other words, it’s the length of your telomeres that let your chromosomes know they can’t make good copies any more.1 It’s like an auto-shut-off mechanism so you don’t make damaged DNA.
What this means is that telomere shortening serves as your genetic clock. This in itself is a huge discovery, but there’s even more to it. After years of research and testing, scientists have found a way to stop your telomeres from shortening.
How? The enzyme that can turn back your biological clock: telomerase.Telomerase is in all your cells, but in adults it’s usually turned off. The key to slowing or even reversing the aging process is activating it.
Telomerase’s job is to make a blueprint so your telomeres can rebuild themselves when your DNA makes copies. This way, your telomeres don’t get shorter. Sometimes they even get longer.
In fact, Blackburn discovered that telomerase is so important, even healthy, growing cells can have “catastrophic telomere shortening” without the enzyme. And when it’s active, telomerase rebuilds telomeres that have suffered shortening.
It seems a lot of other people think so, too. Elizabeth Blackburn won the 2009 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for her work on telomerase.
Vitamin D & Telomerase
Vitamin D is called the “sunshine vitamin” for good reason. But it might soon be renamed the “telomere vitamin".
That’s because a separate study by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition looked at more than 2,000 women of all ages. The more vitamin D they had in their bodies, the longer their telomeres were. On top of that, people who supplemented with vitamin D had longer telomeres than those who didn’t.
But first, I need to tell you a little bit about how your aging program works.As we described above genetic aging is controlled by a piece of your DNA called “telomeres.” They can be found in every cell in your body and are critical to youthful cell function. As your cells divide, your telomeres get shorter. And as they shorten, your cells begin to slow down and act old.
We now know that telomeres are the primary cause of human aging. Shortened telomeres have been linked to serious degenerative conditions, like heart disease and organ failure. They’re also responsible for other, less-serious aging concerns, such as the appearance of wrinkles and sagging skin.
Now, for the first time in history, we can halt and even reverse the shortening of telomeres. The secret lies in an enzyme called telomerase. Telomerase makes your telomeres longer. That means your cells actually get younger as time goes by!
Simply put, telomerase turns back the hands of time. It’s in every cell of your body – but the gene that makes it turns off as you age.
Activating your telomerase has benefits for you, right now – and the new research indicates that getting optimal levels of Vitamin D will help your body produce telomerase – so while some people (those who sell sunscreen) tell you that being in the sun too much will make you look older, it now seems that they are only half right … being in the sun, producing vitamin D … does help you to be older (as in living longer).
Learn More About The Sunshine Vitamin
Vitamin D is important for good health and long-life. Here are some of the articles we've added to our website to give you a full picture of this important subject. Like other parts of this website these articles summarize the important facts and include useful advice.
If Vitamin D Were a Drug It Would Win the Nobel Prize
Benefits of Vitamin D
Vitamin D Deficiency: Causes and Risk Factors
Learn to recognize the symptoms of vitamin D deficiency, especially in women and children
Testing Your Vitamin D Levels: (know what to ask your doctor, or order a home testing kit)
Getting Vitamin D from Sunshine
Vitamin D from Food
What you need to know when choosing a Vitamin D supplement
Vitamin D Deficiency is linked to 2/3rds of the medical problems in the US along with poor diet
Vitamin D helps prevent 3 out 4 cancers
Vitamin D is Important for Good Heart Health
Vitamin D and Calcium: You Need Them Both
Vitamin D is important for heathy teeth and preventing periodontal disease and weakening of the jawbone
Vitamin D deficiency can cause mobility problems
The information contained in this section of our web site is for educational purposes and is not intended as medical advice.
While the publishers of this website believe that people have the right to understand their own bodies and to take care of their bodies as they see fit, we also respect the knowledge and experience of trained nutritionists, scientists, researchers, medical practioners, and others who can help you achieve the optimum health you are entitled to, and suggest you seek out and work with health specialists you can trust.
Back from this page on Vitamin D, Telomerase and Extending Your Lifespan to our lead page on Sunshine Vitamin D