Volume 2, Issue 53
December 31, 2009

Stunning proof — living longer
is easier than you think

It's New Year's Eve. Time for a New Year's resolution. How about making a resolution to live longer? I think it's a great idea.

So what if I told you that you can live 5.1% longer? And what if I told you it was as easy as swallowing a few gulps of water? Would that get your attention? Well, a recent study provides some stunning proof that living longer may be just as simple as that.

This study appeared in the June 2009 edition of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. The researchers took a look at the effects of taking a multivitamin on telomere length.

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A telomere is the disposable region of repetitive DNA at the end of the chromosomes. Its name comes from the Greek nouns telos which means "end" and meros which means "part." Even though telomeres contain DNA, the DNA they contain is not essential to cell function. Here's why that is important.

When our cells divide and the strands of DNA split up to form two new cells, the very ends of the chromosomes where the telomeres are, are lost in the transaction. This is just a natural side effect of cell division. But since the telomeres are not essential to cell function, their shortening doesn't matter. If they weren't there, then every time our cells divided, we would lose critical genetic material and very quickly come to the end of our earthly existence. But since they are there, our cells can repeatedly divide without ever losing any of our genetic code.

But there's one small problem. If the telomeres become shortened every time a cell divides, then what happens when they shorten to the point that they can no longer protect the chromosomes?

Every time the cells divide and the telomeres shorten, an enzyme begins to repair it. This enzyme, telomerase, causes the telomere to elongate back to their original length in time for the next division. So as long as these enzymes can continue to replenish our telomeres, we should be able to live for a pretty long time. Now here's the best part.

The technology is now here in which we are able to take a blood sample, isolate the white blood cells from it, and measure the length of the telomeres. Obviously, the longer your telomeres are, the better your telomerase enzymes are working. And the better these enzymes work, the better off you are — and the longer you can live. This is where the study I mentioned above comes in.

These researchers wanted to see if multivitamin use causes longer telomeres in women. So they looked at 586 women between the ages of 35-74. They assessed how often they took a multivitamin and what kinds of foods they ate. Then they measured the length of their telomeres. Here's what they found.

Compared with nonusers, the relative telomere length was on average 5.1% longer among daily multivitamin users. But that's not all they found.

When they analyzed diet factors, they found that the women who had the highest intake of foods containing vitamins C and E also had longer telomeres. The women who had the longest telomeres were the ones who had the highest intake of these foods plus took a multivitamin. But even in the women who did not take a multi, the intake of these foods resulted in increased telomere length. The ones with the shortest telomere length were the ones who did not take a multi, and who ate the least amount of the vitamin C and E containing foods.

Why the difference? I think it's because multivitamins contain vitamin B12 and folic acid. These important B-vitamins are essential for a molecular process called methylation. And it's through the process of methylation that the telomerase enzymes are able to repair and re-lengthen the telomeres.

So make sure you take your multivitamin. Recent results of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey showed that 35% of the U.S. adult population regularly consumes a multivitamin. So you're in good company. The one I take is the one I formulated. It's called Super Immune QuickStart, and it combines a strong multivitamin formulation with detoxifying herbs and nutrients. You can order it by calling 800-791-3395.

Hope you have a great New Year — and many, many more to follow.

Finding your Real Cures,

Frank Shallenberger, MD

REF: Qun Xu, Christine G Parks, Lisa A DeRoo,et al. Multivitamin use and telomere length in women. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 89, No. 6, 1857-1863, June 2009


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