An Emerging Evidence Base For Nutraceuticals That Support The Structure And Function Of Telomeres

Posted On April 22, 2021 at 7:30 am by / No Comments

An Emerging Evidence Base For Nutraceuticals That Support The Structure And Function Of Telomeres

Chromosomes in our cell nuclei carry a large part of genetic information in the form of DNS and in order to maintain proper cell function that must be protected. This task is performed by Telomeres which are the ends of chromosomes.  Telomeres are nucleotide tandem repeats and the shortening of telomeres leads to cellular senescence and apoptosis which is a key mechanism of aging and age-related chronic diseases. Recent studies have shown that there is a growing evidence base of nutraceuticals that support the structure and function of telomeres.  Consider the following evidence base:


Evidence Base for Use


Astragalosides (cycloastragenol) or the specific molecule TA-65 are proposed as telomeres. A clinical trial that showed improvements in immune function, eyesight, sexual function, and skin colour characteristics.1

Omega-3 fatty acids

In a group of patients with coronary heart disease, there was a inverse relationship between blood levels of marine omega-3 fatty acids and telomere shortening over a five-year interval.2


The rate of telomere shortening is modulated by oxidative stress (certain in vitro).3 Breast cancer risk may be affected by telomere length in women with low intake of antioxidants or antioxidant supplements.4

Vitamin D

Higher vitamin D concentrations in serum are associated with longer telomere length.5


Folate status alters telomere length in a non-linear manner probably by its effects on the integrity of DNA and epigenetic influences.6 Plasma homocysteine elevation due to folate and vitamin B12 deficiency is associated with decreased telomere length in older males.7


Nicotinamide extends the lifespan of human fibroblasts as a presumed consequence of reduce mitochondrial production of reactive oxygen species.8


Epidemiological evidence associates multivitamin use with longer telomere length.9

Chinese ginger root

Evidence is emerging that ginger root may support telomerase lengthening and have other beneficial actions.


Demonstrated to inhibit telomere shortening and retain telomerase activity in microvascular endothelial cells in the brain.10


N-acetylcysteine blocks the nuclear export of hTERT into cell cytoplasm and delays replicative senescence of endothelial cells that are attracted by reactive oxygen species.11


Treatment with statins increases lymphocyte telomere length.12 Statins interfere with redox balance of endothelial cells.13,14

Gingko biloba

Gingko biloba extracts have been show to delay the onset of cellular senescence by activating P13k/Aktsignaling pathways that augment telomerase activity.15


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  1. Reviewed at Tasciences.Com; accessed February 6, 2010.
  2. Ramin F-F, Lin J, Epel ES, Harris WS, Blackburn EH, Whooley MA. Association of marine omega-3 fatty acid levels with telomeric aging in patients with coronary heart disease.JAMA. 2010;303:250-257.
  3. Saretzki G, Von Zglinicki T. Replicative aging, telomeres, and oxidative stress. Ann NY Acad Sci. 2002;959:24-29.
  4. Shen J et al. Telomere length, oxidative damage, antioxidants and breast cancer risk. Int J Cancer. 2009;124:1637-1643.
  5. Richards JB et al. Higher serum vitamin D concentrations are associated with longer leukocyte telomere length in women. Am J ClinNutr. 2007;86(5):1420-1425.
  6. Cattaneo PL et al. Telomere length in peripheral blood mononuclear cells is associated with folate status in men. J Nutr. 2009;139(7):1273-1278.
  7. Bull CF et al. Telomere length in lymphocytes of older south Australian men may be inversely associated with plasma homocysteine. Rejuvenation R. Sep. 28, 2009.
  8. Kang HT Lee HI, Hwang ES. Nicotinamide extends replicative lifespan of human cells. Aging Cell. 2006;5:423-436.
  9. Xu Q et al. Multivitamin use and telomere length in women. Am J ClinNutr. 2009;89(6):1857-1863.
  10. TanakaY, MoritohY, MiwaN. Age-dependent telomere-shortening is repressed by phosphorylated alpha-tocopherol together with cellular longevity and intracellular oxidative-stress reduction in human brain microvascularendotheliocytes. J Cell Biochem. 2007;102(3)689-703.
  11. HaendelerJetal.Antioxidantsinhibitnuclearexportoftelomerasereversetranscriptaseanddelay replicative senescence of endothelial cells. Clin Res. 2004;94:768-775.
  12. BrouiletteSWetal.Telomerelength,riskofcoronaryheartdisease,andstatintreatmentintheWest of Scotland Primary Prevention Study: a nested case-control study. Lancet. 2007;39:107-114.
  13. Haendeler, opcit.
  14. SpyridopolousIetal. Statins enhance migratory capacity by upregulation of the telomere repeat- binding factor TRF2 in endothelial progenitor cells.  Circulation. 2004;110;3136-3142.
  15. XuDetal.;DXetal.JCardiovascPharmacol.2007;4-9;111-115.
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