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Nutritional Deficiencies Cause DNA Damage and Aging

The DNA (Deoxyribonucleic acid) in our bodies contains the blueprints for who we are and the instructions for who we will become. DNA is a molecule that encodes the genetic instructions used in the development and functioning of all known living organisms.

dna_strand_blue_picWhen damaged DNA replicates, it produces structurally damaged cells, also known as mutations. In adult mammals, DNA damage can accumulate in the cells of the brain and muscles and cause aging. [1][2][3]

DNA damage can come from either inside the body, called intrinsic damage, or from outside the body, called extrinsic damage.

There are many different examples of extrinsic DNA damage. One well known example of an extrinsic cause of DNA damage is radiation. Nuclear radiation is a well-recognized mutagen of DNA.

The intrinsic type of damage can also come from many sources. The most commonly known sources are reactive oxygen species or free radicals.

Not as widely known is the fact that clinical research has proven that nutritional deficiencies cause DNA damage. When essential nutritional elements are missing, the result is replication damage and mutated cells.

For example, a deficiency of any certain specific nutrients—including folate, vitamin B6, niacin, vitamin B12, vitamin C, vitamin E, iron, or zinc—mimics radiation in damaging DNA by causing single and double-strand breaks, oxidative lesions, or both.[4]

autumn_fall_fruits_vegetables_seeds_nuts_bounty_harvest_picEven if you are consuming a wide variety of unprocessed, organic, whole food, you may not be able to provide all 40-plus essential micronutrients to your DNA. And the wide variety of synthetic nutritional suppliments are certainly not the answer.

I strongly suggest nutritional testing for all known micronutrients at least once every other year. I also suggest insuring that you are getting all the essential micronutrients by taking a high quality multiple-vitamin free of synthetic vitamins, such as the Raw Vitamins from SUNWARRIOR.

Craig B Sommers, ND, CN

  1. Jump up^ Bernstein H, Payne CM, Bernstein C, Garewal H, Dvorak K (2008). Cancer and aging as consequences of un-repaired DNA damage. In: New Research on DNA Damages (Editors: Honoka Kimura and Aoi Suzuki) Nova Science Publishers, Inc., New York, Chapter 1, pp. 1-47. ISBN 978-1604565812
  2. ^ Jump up to:ab Hoeijmakers JH. (2009) DNA damage, aging, and cancer. N Engl J Med. 361(15):1475-1485. Review. PMID 19812404
  3. Jump up^ Freitas AA, de Magalhães JP. (2011) A review and appraisal of the DNA damage theory of ageing. Mutat Res. 728(1-2):12-22. Review.doi:10.1016/j.mrrev.2011.05.001PMID 21600302
  4. PMID:11295149 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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