Whether it’s a glint of gray hair in the mirror or the crow’s-feet nesting around your eyes, the realization that you’re aging can be jarring. Many people start spending big money on hair salon visits and wrinkle creams, but if you’re looking for something that can really make a difference, consider the anti-aging nutrients we get from food and supplements, says Judith Hellman, MD, a dermatologist in New York City.
“Certain nutrients are proven to increase telomere length—the little caps on the end of DNA strands that correlate to aging,” says Hellman. Here’s how it works: As we get older, the protective telomeres shorten and DNA stops regenerating as well as it once did. That process leads to cell breakdown, which is essentially aging. Another process that shortens telomeres is oxidative stress, in which unstable molecules cause damage to cell structures such as telomeres. As we age, the body loses its ability to neutralize these unstable molecules.
Your telomere length serves as a marker for your lifespan: The shorter telomeres get, the less time you have left. Ugh—ready for the good news? Hellman says these nutrients and antioxidants help counteract these aging processes and may even lengthen your telomeres:
Excerpted from prevention.com