The nutrients that, so far, have been associated with longer telomeres are B vitamins (especially Folate and B12), Vitamin C and D, Zinc, Magnesium and Omega-3.
“Generally, the higher your intake, the longer your telomeres. Also, multivitamin takers have longer telomeres and the longer the telomeres, the less is the risk for cancer,” says Patrick.
Particularly key to longer telomeres are homocysteine levels. A recent study in the European Journal of Nutrition gave 60 older people a supplement containing Vitamin B6, B12, Folate, D and Calcium, while others were given only Vitamin D. One year later those taking the B vitamins had lower homocysteine levels and longer telomeres.
Zinc and Magnesium are also key to slowing down the ageing process. The ‘pen’ that copies DNA to accurately make new cells, is called a ‘Zinc finger’, while Magnesium is key to healthy telomeres because it regulates their structure, integrity and function.
Omega-3 intake from oily fish and seeds, compared to an intake of Omega 6, ensures longer telomeres. According to a study, DHA, one of the key smart fats in Omega-3 rich seafood, has the strongest positive association for longer telomeres.
Read more about food that slow down ageing here.