Certain nutrients and bioactives have protective effect on telomere length, according to recent review of telomere literature.

With the recent surge of interest in telomere shortening as an underlying cause of aging, it’s no wonder scientists are enthusiastically researching how diet and lifestyle can influence telomere length. Now, Ligi Paul, Ph.D., of the USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University, has reviewed the latest literature associating telomere length with nutrients, bioactive compounds, and lifestyle factors.

Telomeres protect the ends of chromosomes from fusing with each other, Dr. Paul reminds us, and their length is an indicator of biological aging. Although shortening is a normal part of aging, oxidative stress and inflammation can speed up the process of telomere shortening.