A new study has suggested that vitamin D slows down the ageing process.
Research for the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, involving academics from King's College London, found that women with higher levels of vitamin D were more likely to have longer strands of DNA.
These strands, called telomeres, shorten every time cells reproduce themselves, acting as a biological ageing 'clock'.
Senior author Professor Brent Richards said: "These results are exciting because they demonstrate for the first time that people who have higher levels of vitamin D may age more slowly than people with lower levels of vitamin D.
"This could help to explain how vitamin D has a protective effect on many ageing-related diseases, such as heart disease and cancer."
Vitamin D is produced naturally by the body in response to sunlight and is also found in fish, eggs, milk and breakfast cereals. It is known to promote bone health and ward off certain cancers, Type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis.
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