Telomeres, located at the end of human chromosomes, protect DNA from deterioration. Multiple studies over the past decade have associated longer telomeres with increased longevity and a slowing of the aging process. A study from Kookmin University, in Seoul, Korea, collected nutrition data from 1,958 men and women between the ages of 40 and 69.
The information included a baseline food frequency questionnaire assessing the consumption of vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B6, B9 (folate), C and E, as well as calcium, phosphorus, potassium, iron and zinc, during an 18-month period. Researchers measured the length of the subjects’ telomeres after 10 years in a follow-up examination and compared these results with the nutrition information.
The study found an association between longer telomere length and vitamin C, folate and potassium intake in all participants. These nutrients are available in many fruits and vegetables.