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Can Multivitamins Actually Keep Your Cells Young?

The cells of people who take multivitamins regularly may have a younger biological age than non-multivitamin users.

This was the conclusion of a study published in the June 2009 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Researchers from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences recruited 586 women between the ages of 35 and 74 for the study.

The researchers used a 146-item food-frequency questionnaire to determine multivitamin use and nutrient intakes among the participants.

They also measured telomere length to determine the biological age of the women's cells. Telemores are the DNA sequences at the end of chromosomes that shorten as cells replicate and age.  When the telemore is totally consumed, the cell is destroyed.

The researchers found that daily multivitamin users had telemores that were 5.1% longer than those of non-users, implying a lower biological age among the vitamin users.

Previous studies have shown that telemores are extremely susceptible to chronic inflammation and oxidative stress, which may explain these positive results.

This was the first study to analyze the link between multivitamin use and telemore length.  The researchers note that additional epidemiologic studies will be necessary to verify and expand upon these findings.

Taking a multi-vitamin is one way to get the crucial vitamins your body needs and they have been shown to boost your overall mental and physical health and general well being.

However, vitamins should not be considered an alternative to a healthy diet.  In addition, all multi-vitamins are not created equally. When choosing a multivitamin, it is important to look at the ingredients, specific health problems it may target and quality level.

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