The 36 key vitamins and minerals that could help you live longer

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The 36 key vitamins and minerals that could help you live longer

The 36 key vitamins and minerals that could help you live longer 19 Oct, 2018 8:39am 7 minutes to read Do you know what vitamins and minerals you need for a long life? Photo / Getty Images Daily Mail Share on Reddit reddit A scientist has named the 36 “longevity” nutrients – found in everything from red meat to noodles – that could “add a few years to everyone’s lives”. Consuming plenty of the three dozen vitamins and minerals prevents disease and the risk of an early death, Dr Bruce Ames claims. However, Dr Ames, of the Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute claim that most people are deficient in many of the nutrients. The Daily Mail names the 36 nutrients, from vitamin K to selenium, and reveals how they benefit your health and the foods richest in them. Advertisement Advertise with NZME. Dr Ames, who led the study, said: “Diet is very important for our long-term health. “This just reinforces that you should try to do what your mother told you: Eat your veggies, eat your fruit, give up sugary soft drinks and empty carbohydrates. “The low hanging fruit in prolonging healthy ageing lies in optimising vitamin and mineral intake.” He published the list of nutrients in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Dr Ames said around 70 per cent of people in the US are deficient in vitamin D and as many as 60 per cent lack vitamin E. This is despite vitamin D being essential for bone, heart and brain health, and vitamin E protecting against skin and eye damage. Related articles: 5 minutes to read Dr Ames made the conclusion by evaluating research conducted by himself and his colleagues, as well as other scientists from around the world. This is based on the theory that when a person lacks certain vitamins and minerals, their body uses the nutrients it does have to ensure their survival. This is rather than investing the nutrients into helping them live longer or preventing disease. For example, a vitamin K deficiency may cause a person’s to use the vitamin K it has to ensure blood properly clots, rather than investing it into heart health. While deficiency in “longevity vitamins” may not put someone at immediate risk of death, it can cause gradual damage that only becomes obvious in later life. Ensuring lifelong health is increasingly important due to people all over the world living longer, Dr Ames said. “[The current review] may be a theoretical paper, but I hope it can add a few years to everyone’s lives,” he added. Although factors aside from diet can cause disease, such as infections and genetics, eating well strengthens the immune system so it can then better fight pathogens off. Previous research suggests more than 50 genetic diseases are preventable by taking high-dose supplements. And while some of the damage caused by nutrient deficiencies can be reversed once vitamins and minerals are taken in sufficient amounts, DNA damage can be permanent. “The prevention of the degenerative diseases of ageing is a different science than curing disease,” Dr Ames said. “It will involve expertise in metabolism, nutrition, biochemistry, and genetic regulatory elements and polymorphisms. “This approach is critical for lowering medical costs.” THE 36 NUTRIENTS THAT HELP YOU LIVE LONGER, HOW THEY BENEFIT YOUR HEALTH AND WHAT TO EAT TO GET THEM Vitamin A Protects against: Blindness, certain cancers, acne and osteoporosis Found in: Liver, fish oils, milk, eggs, and orange vegetables, such as sweet potatoes and carrots Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) Protects against: Nerve, muscle and heart damage Found in: Beef, liver, nuts, oats, oranges, pork, eggs, seeds and peas Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) Protects against: Cataracts, heart disease and migraines Found in: Red meat, almonds, dairy, eggs, fish and green leafy vegetables, such as kale and spinach Vitamin B6 Protects against: Heart disease, stroke and Alzheimer’s Found in: Pork, poultry, fish, bread, eggs and vegetables Vitamin B12 Protects against: Anaemia Found in: Animals products, including meat, poultry, fish, eggs and dairy; as well as fortified cereals Biotin Found in: Egg yolks, almonds, cauliflower, cheese, mushrooms, sweet potatoes and spinach Vitamin C Protects against: Heart disease, osteoporosis, anaemia and scurvy Found in: All fruit and vegetables, particularly broccoli, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower Choline Protects against: Liver, brain, muscle and nervous system damage Found in: Liver, salmon, chickpeas, eggs and turkey Eggs are full of many essential vitamins and minerals. Photo / Getty Images Protects against: Skin, heart and eye damage Found in: Vegetable oils, nuts, seeds and green leafy vegetables Folic acid Protects against: Spina bifida in newborns when taken in early pregnancy, certain cancers and anaemia Found in: Green leafy vegetables, citrus fruits, beans, and fortified breads and cereals Niacin Protects against: Heart disease, brain damage and arthritis Found in: Liver, chicken, tuna, turkey, salmon, anchovies, pork and beef Vitamin B5 (Pantothenate) Protects against: ADHD, arthritis, allergies, hair loss, asthma and colitis Found in: Mushrooms, fish, avocados, eggs, chicken, beef, pork and sunflower seeds Calcium Protects against: Bone damage, certain cancers and diabetes Found in: Dairy, green leafy vegetables, soya beans, tofu, fish where you eat the bones; such as sardines, and fortified products; like bread and soya drinks Chloride Protects against: Dangerous blood pressure levels and poor nerve signalling Found in: Salt, seaweed, rye, tomatoes, lettuce, celery and olives Chromium Found in: Vegetables, whole grains, beef, poultry and dairy Cobalt Found in: Fish, nuts, cereals and green leafy vegetables Copper Protects against: Nerve cell damage Found in: Shellfish, whole grains, beans, nuts, potatoes, kidneys and liver Iodine Protects against: Bone damage and immune dysfunction Found in: Seaweed, cod, dairy, shrimp, tuna, eggs and prunes Iron Protects against: Low levels of oxygen in the body Found in: Red meat, shellfish, spinach, liver, lentils, pumpkin seeds, quinoa and turkey Molybdenum Protects against: Oesophageal cancer, liver disease, yeast infections and allergies Found in: Peas, lentils, kidney beans, nuts, soy, dairy, eggs and whole grains Phosphorus Protects against: Arthritis, osteoporosis and cognitive decline Found in: Milk, meat, beans, lentils and nuts Potassium Protects against: Stroke, osteoporosis and kidney stones Found in: Squash, sweet potato, yoghurt and halibut Sodium Protects against: Muscle and nerve damage Found in: Salt, and smoked and cured meats Sulphur Protects against: Bacterial infections and acne Found in: Seafood, eggs, liver, kidneys, nuts and dairy Zinc Protects against: Bleeding, immune dysfunction and thyroid problems Found in: Seafood, meat, poultry, eggs, beans, lentils, nuts and seeds Vitamin K Protects against: Heart disease, osteoporosis and cognitive decline Found in: Parsley, spinach, grapes and eggs Selenium Protects against: Heart disease, Alzheimer’s, stroke and certain cancers Found in: Brazil nuts, sunflower seeds, chicken, eggs and sardines Vitamin D Protects against: Rickets (known as osteomalacia in adults), certain cancers, heart disease, diabetes and cognitive decline Found in: Sunlight and oily fish, such as salmon, sardines and mackerel Omega-3 fatty acids Protect against: Heart disease, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, schizophrenia, bipolar and depression Found in: Oily fish Protects against: Cancer, particularly lung; heart disease and stroke Found in: Fruit, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds Choline Found in: Liver, peanuts, red meat, poultry, fish, pasta, noodles and rice Taurine Protects against: Heart disease, cognitive decline, diabetes and mitochondrial diseases, which can cause brain damage. Mitochondria are the ‘energy powerhouses’ of cells Found in: Fish and other seafood, seaweed, eggs and the dark meat of poultry Ergothioneine Protects against: Heart disease, and brain and eye damage Found in: Mushrooms, meat, poultry and red kidney beans Pyrroloquinoline Quinone Protects against: Diabetes, cognitive decline and general inflammation Found in: Fruit and vegetables Queuine Protects against: Multiple sclerosis, schizophrenia, ADHD, autism and bipolar Found in: Tomatoes, wheat, coconut water and dairy Carotenoids Carotenoids are antioxidants produced by plants. The following make up 95 per cent of those in the human body: Lutein

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