Multivitamin use and telomere length in women

Epidemiology Branch, National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences, National Institutes of Health, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709, USA.
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (Impact Factor: 6.77). 04/2009; 89(6):1857-63. DOI: 10.3945/ajcn.2008.26986
Source: PubMed


Telomere length may be a marker of biological aging. Multivitamin supplements represent a major source of micronutrients, which may affect telomere length by modulating oxidative stress and chronic inflammation.
The objective was to examine whether multivitamin use is associated with longer telomeres in women.
We performed a cross-sectional analysis of data from 586 early participants (age 35-74 y) in the Sister Study. Multivitamin use and nutrient intakes were assessed with a 146-item food-frequency questionnaire, and relative telomere length of leukocyte DNA was measured by quantitative polymerase chain reaction.
After age and other potential confounders were adjusted for, multivitamin use was associated with longer telomeres. Compared with nonusers, the relative telomere length of leukocyte DNA was on average 5.1% longer among daily multivitamin users (P for trend = 0.002). In the analysis of micronutrients, higher intakes of vitamins C and E from foods were each associated with longer telomeres, even after adjustment for multivitamin use. Furthermore, intakes of both nutrients were associated with telomere length among women who did not take multivitamins.
This study provides the first epidemiologic evidence that multivitamin use is associated with longer telomere length among women.

Download full-text


Available from: Lisa A. DeRoo,
  • Source
    • "High free radical levels accelerate telomere shortening sometimes unknowingly be exposed to rapid telomere shortening and accelerated ageing. While studies with iron supplementation among women have showed decreases in TL (Xu et al., 2009), other studies with the human hepatocyte cell line L-02 have shown a slight increase in TL at low concentrations of iron (Liu et al., 2004). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Oxidative stress can be induced by increased concentrations of iron in the body and consequently can cause shortening of telomeres. Telomeres, called mitotic clocks, are non-coding fragments at the end of chromosomes. During the replication of genetic material they are shortened, playing the role of ageing biomarkers in eukaryotes. In human endothelial cells, oxidative stress causes a decrease in telomerase activity. Shortening of chromosomes in telomeric parts was found in patients with primary hemochromatosis and in patients taking supplements containing iron. Increased level of transferrin saturation is associated with the presence of shorter telomeres in the chromosomes of leukocytes. The relationship between iron status and telomere length is still not fully understood.
    10/2015; 40(3):931-935. DOI:10.1016/j.etap.2015.10.002
  • Source
    • "Supplementation with vitamin E could also explain the positive effects seen on telomere dynamics in this study. Dietary intakes of vitamin E were associated with longer telomeres in humans (Xu et al., 2009), and in vitro experiments in human skin fibroblasts demonstrate that vitamin E restores telomerase activity and protects against telomere erosion (Makpol et al., 2010). The reduction in telomere loss may be the result of an increased antioxidant capacity. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Reproduction is inherently costly. Environmental stressors, such as infection and limited food resources, can compromise investment at each breeding attempt. For example, recent data on captive birds showed that increased reproductive effort accelerates ageing. However, the effects of nutritional status and infection on ageing remain unknown. Telomeres function as protective caps at the ends of eukaryotic chromosomes, and changes in telomere length is a commonly used proxy for ageing. To partially address the mechanisms of ageing following reproduction, we supplemented, medicated or administered a combined treatment to wild blue tits (Cyanistes caeruleus) breeding in central Spain during 2012. The nutritional supplement consisted of two different antioxidants, while the medication was an antimalarial treatment against blood parasites. We evaluated the effect of these manipulations on reproductive success and parasite loads in the first breeding season, and on changes in telomere length between two consecutive breeding seasons. Supplemented birds showed no reduction in blood parasite infections in 2012, although they exhibited higher body mass and fledging success. The antimalarial drugs reduced infections by several parasite species, but this had no effect on fitness parameters. In the following season, telomeres from supplemented birds had shortened less. Altogether, we found that supplementation with antioxidants provided fitness benefits in the short term and reduced telomere loss a year following treatment. Our results provide indirect empirical support for accelerated telomere loss as a cost of reproduction. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    Journal of Evolutionary Biology 03/2015; 28(4). DOI:10.1111/jeb.12615 · 3.23 Impact Factor
  • Source
    • "In addition to the exposure to environmental contaminants, diet is also considered as a factor. In fact, a cross-sectional analysis has demonstrated a positive association between the use of dietary multivitamin antioxidants and telomere length [31], as well as with the levels of dietary fiber intake [32]. Nevertheless, a recent study showing that high intake of vegetables and beta-carotene is positively associated with telomere length failed to show chromosome instability [33]. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Telomere length is considered to be a risk factor in adults due to its proved association with cancer incidence and mortality. Since newborn present a wide interindividual variation in mean telomere length, it is relevant to demonstrate if these differences in length can act also as an early risk indicator. To answer this question, we have measured the mean telomere length of 74 samples of cord blood from newborns and studied its association with the basal genetic damage, measured as the frequency of binucleated cells carrying micronuclei. In addition, we have challenged the cells of a subgroup of individuals (N = 35) against mitomycin-C (MMC) to establish their sensitivity to induced genomic instability. Results indicate that newborn with shorter telomeres present significantly higher levels of genetic damage when compared to those with longer telomeres. In addition, the cellular response to MMC was also significantly higher among those samples from subjects with shorter telomeres. Independently of the causal mechanisms involved, our results show for the first time that telomere length at delivery influence both the basal and induced genetic damage of the individual. Individuals born with shorter telomeres may be at increased risk, especially for those biological processes triggered by genomic instability as is the case of cancer and other age-related diseases.
    PLoS ONE 03/2014; 9(3):e91753. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0091753 · 3.23 Impact Factor
Show more