The Durk Pearson & Sandy Shaw®
Life Extension NewsTM
Volume 20 No. 1 • February 2017


Telomeres are the ends of chromosomes that become shorter with each cellular replication—the shortening is associated with age and accelerated by oxidative stress and chronic inflammation. Arthritis, autoimmune diseases, and coronary heart disease have been associated with shorter telomeres (Richards, 2007).

Telomeres are commonly measured on leukocytes, white blood cells. A study of 2,160 women aged 18-79 years found that “[t]he difference in LTL [leukocyte telomere length] between the highest and lowest tertiles of vitamin D was 107 base pairs, which is equivalent to 5.0 years of telomeric aging (Richards, 2007).” This is a very substantial difference, especially considering that the vitamin D was the dietary source rather than supplemental.

With the advent of mostly indoor employment and the widespread use of sunscreens for outdoor recreation to protect against too much ultraviolet light, vitamin D deficiency has become endemic. It makes sense to take a supplement of D3­!


Richards et al. Higher serum vitamin D concentrations are associated with longer leukocyte telomere length in women. Am J Clin Nutr. 86:1420-5 (2007).

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