While antioxidant activity is an ever-vital (and valid) feature of healthy aging, promoting cellular integrity and protecting our genes is the other significant part of the longevity equation. One accurate way to look at the rate of cellular aging and overall longevity is by measuring telomeres.
Telomeres are sequences of proteins that essentially “cap” the ends of DNA strands. They protect our DNA from free radicals, modern toxins, and other potential stressors that can impact our genomic stability. When it comes to longevity, longer telomeres help protect DNA and buffer oxidative stress.
In other words, telomere length (again, longer is better) is a viable biomarker for longevity—and vitamin D plays a part in increasing activity of the telomerase enzyme to maintain telomere length and strength and protect cellular DNA and cells’ ability to replicate.*
In fact, a 2017 study from the Archives of Medical Science found a positive association between vitamin D sufficiency and telomere length, which indicates getting adequate vitamin D is vital for maintaining genomic integrity and thus, longevity potential.*