Health

Common 4p supplement could slow down ageing process, doctors say

Doctors have found a 4p daily pill that could help you live longer and fight off diseases like diabetes and dementia. They think a cheap supplement might help our bodies age slower.

The NHS tells people in the UK to take vitamin D from October to March because there isn’t enough sunshine for our bodies to make it.

Now, experts say this vitamin might also help keep us young, but they need to do more studies to be sure, says the Sun newspaper. A team of Italian scientists, led by Carmelinda Ruggiero at the University of Perugia’s Division Gerontology and Geriatrics, looked really closely at how vitamin D supplements might help with ageing signs in our bodies.

“Ageing is a complex and multi-factorial process, marked by the progressive decline in organ functions, leading to frailty and increased susceptibility to age-related diseases,” said the researchers in their study, which was published in the Nutrients journal.

When we get older, things like long-lasting swelling, not having the right balance of gut bacteria, and cells that don’t multiply or die when they should happen in our bodies.

Genomic instability is another key sign. This means that DNA mutations are more likely to happen when cells divide – and this can play a part in many types of cancer, reports Gloucestershire Live.

“Hallmarks of ageing are a set of connected biological processes that, on their own or together, lead to molecular and cellular damage, potentially starting and speeding up the onset of diseases related to getting older,” researchers explained.

Looking at several clinical studies, the research team from Italy suggested that vitamin D could have a positive impact on many of these signs of ageing. The supplement seems to help control DNA stability and integrity, especially in conditions like type 2 diabetes and cancer, the researchers wrote.

The studies they looked at also suggested that taking vitamin D might reduce DNA damage and oxidative stress, possibly offering protection against genomic instability and oncogene-induced senescence.

“Vitamin D appears to control and influence several hallmarks of ageing through genomic and non-genomic pathways,” the researchers said.

Experts have discovered that vitamin D could be a secret weapon for living longer. They found it helps keep our DNA stable and boosts older people’s immune systems.

It even looks after the proteins in our bodies, which is great for staying strong and healthy as we get older.

The scientists also think vitamin D can make your tummy bugs happy, which is good news for your health.

They shared: “Notably, clinical studies support the potential of vitamin D supplementation in hampering dysbiosys, prompting the recovery of gut microbiota health, and providing multiple health benefits.”

But they also said there’s still heaps to learn about how this sunshine vitamin can help us stay young and well: “Despite the interest in vitamin D supplementation as a strategy supporting human longevity and some evidence about its potential in modulating hallmarks of ageing, we are still far from the point of translation from bench to bed.

“Current knowledge does not allow yet to define a potential optimal vitamin D dosage for modulating hallmarks of ageing or the chronological or functional age at which vitamin D supplementation might be useful in modulating ageing biologically related factors.

“We could speculate that early interventions to avoid vitamin D insufficiency might be protective in the long run, but longitudinal studies based on homogenous cohorts and targeted therapy are warranted.”

This adds to other studies that show vitamin D might affect how old our bodies really are.

Researchers from Charite Universitatsmedizin Berlin looked at the epigenetic patterns in 1,600 people. Epigenetics is about how what we do and our surroundings can change how our genes work.

They discovered that people who didn’t have enough vitamin D were “biologically older” than those with the right amount.

Also, chromosomes, which are like the organisers of our DNA, seemed younger in people who had enough vitamin D (30-100 ng/mL). These findings hint that vitamin D could be a secret weapon in slowing down the ageing process.

It’s also been hinted that taking this supplement every day might help keep dementia at bay. In other news, scientists have said that if everyone in the UK took vitamin D supplements, we could see 15 per cent fewer cancer deaths.

A study of half a million Brits found that not getting enough vitamin D could increase your chances of dying, particularly from bowel, stomach, prostate, and lung cancers.

So, how can you get more vitamin D?

You can get some vitamin D from foods like:.

  • Oily fish such as salmon, sardines, herring and mackerel.
  • Red meat.
  • Liver (but don’t eat this if you’re pregnant).
  • Egg yolks.
  • Foods that have had vitamin D added to them like some spreads and breakfast cereals.

Doctors recommend that children over one and adults should take a supplement with 10 micrograms of vitamin D a day during autumn and winter.


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