Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Decreased vitamin D linked to shorter telomeres

Decreased Vitamin D Levels Linked to Shorter Telomeres Doctors Guide 6/5/07 "Decreased vitamin D levels are linked to shorter telomeres, the end pieces of DNA, according to a study presented here at the 89[th annual meeting of the Endocrine Society (ENDO)...The study used data from the TwinsUK cohort to assess if there was a relationship between vitamin D levels and length of telomeres, said lead investigator John Brent Richards, MD...Dr. Richards noted that telomeres shorten in length with each cell cycle and have been demonstrated to degrade when exposed to inflammation. He explained that vitamin D is thought to inhibit a pro-inflammatory response...We can think of the telomeres as having a biological clock that is ticking," explained Richards. "We know that factors such as smoking can affect telomere length."...Investigators found the difference in TRFL between the highest and lowest tertiles of vitamin D was 92.6 base pairs (P =.006). That result was equivalent to 4.2 years of telomeric aging..."What we have seen is an association," said Dr. Richards. "We can't say if vitamin D is causing this.""

4.2 years. Nothing to sneeze at... for now.

Another condemnation of inflammation and another possible accolade for vit. D. A pattern? Yerp. But who knew the two would come together around telomeres. That's news to me. I'm left wondering what other anti inflammatory agents might protect telomeres from "premature" shortening? The article isn't specific about what anti inflammatory response vit. D is causing. Is it the anti inflammatory cytokine interleukin-10?

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