Two natural chemicals were utilized in a recent experiment by scientists from the Nordic countries to put a clog in the works of cardiovascular disease and aging. Because of their work, we may have a far better chance of living a long, healthy life.
Most individuals would be thrilled if they could live a long and healthy life, and thanks to a recent finding, that possibility may have increased significantly. Researchers from Sweden and Norway have found a way to potentially delay the onset of cardiovascular disease and halt the body’s biological aging process.
A study of 443 older men and women, published in the journal Nutrients, found that individuals who took a daily supplement of the mineral selenium and the vitamin-related chemical, coenzyme Q10, had longer telomeres than those who did not. At first look, scientists may have discovered a way to slow down the aging process that renders us fragile and old since previous studies have linked short telomeres to aging and cardiovascular disease.
Telomeres are located at the very end of each DNA strand and play a crucial role in protecting cells against deterioration. Telomeres protect DNA strands from damage, just as plastic tips on shoelaces prevent fraying.
Each cell division results in a shorter telomere. When they run out, the DNA strands become exposed and start to tear, and the cell dies. They govern how long the cell will live and, in this way, serve as a type of “rock map” for the voyage of life. It seems that the trip may be extended if sufficient amounts of selenium and coenzyme Q10 are provided to the body.
Leukocytes, or white blood cells, are an important aspect of the immune system, and their telomere length was the focus of the study. The fact that leukocyte telomere length does not vary much from that of other cell types makes this technique a reliable indicator of biological age.