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Be Younger, Feel Better

Selenium increases telomeres, chili boosts metabolism

Selenium increases telomere length

During their lifespan, cells divide and replicate a limited number of times. The limiting factor is telomeres, the protective material at the end of each strand of chromosomes that help maintain genetic integrity. Each division shortens telomeres, eventually leaving chromosomes unprotected, unable to reproduce properly. Longer telomeres suggest a younger biological age. Earlier studies found telomeres are susceptible to oxidative stress and inflammation.

In this study, doctors measured white blood cell telomere length in 3,194 men and women, aged at least 45, and found those that got the most selenium had longer telomeres compared to those who got the least. Each 20 mcg increase in daily selenium corresponded to 0.42 percent longer telomeres.

Discussing the findings, doctors said selenium has proteins and enzymes with strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, which is what led them to explore a connection to telomere length.

Reference: Clinical Nutrition; 2020, S0261-5614, Published Online

Chili pepper boosts activity, reduces body fat

Earlier studies found capsinoids from chili peppers improved metabolism and reduced body fat mass. In this study, 69 men and women, average age 74, took a placebo or 9 mg of capsinoids per day, in divided doses.

After three months, while there were no changes for placebo, those taking capsinoids significantly increased physical activity and oxygen consumption compared to the start of the study, burning 562 calories per day, up from 481 calories.

Also in the capsinoid group, participants saw a significant decrease in waist size, and had lower levels of abdominal fat. In participants over 80, capsinoids reduced unexplained chills, a finding consistent with earlier studies.

Reference: Nutrients; 2020, Vol. 12, No. 1, 10.3390, Published Online

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