A study of more than 2,000 women has found those with higher vitamin D levels showed fewer aging-related changes in their DNA. A second study, examining almost 1,000 patients in West Africa, showed that low vitamin D levels are common among tuberculosis (TB) patients. Lack of vitamin D has been linked in previous studies to multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and other diseases.
Cells have built-in DNA clocks, known as telomeres. Measuring the length of these strands of DNA is one way of examining the aging process at a cellular level.
Women with higher levels of vitamin D are more likely to have longer telomeres, and vice versa. This means that people with higher levels of vitamin D may actually age more slowly than people with lower levels of vitamin D.
No wonder vitamin D has a protective effect on so many diseases, ranging from MS and TB to heart disease and cancer -- it keeps your body young!
* BBC News November 8, 2007
* American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 86(5), 1376-1383, November 2007
* American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 86(5), 1420-1425, November 2007
* American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 86(5), 1257-1258, November 2007