Did you know that people who look younger than their age live a longer and healthier life?
How do they do it?
In a long-term study involving 913 pairs of twins, Danish researchers discovered that the twins who looked younger than their true age had better health and longer survival rates than their older-looking siblings.
Also, the larger the difference in how old each twin looked, the more likely it was that the older-looking twin died first.
The researchers discovered that the reason for this difference is that the twins who looked younger had longer telomeres.1
Damage to telomeres shortens them and makes you age more quickly. You look older, feel older, and are more vulnerable to age-related disease.
For instance, did you know that people with telomeres only slightly shorter than average have a 320% greater risk for heart attack?2 The risk increases for people with the shortest telomeres.
Keep your telomeres from getting shorter and you can stay healthier as you get older.
There’s a little-known nutrient that can help.
It will give you a younger immune system, make your cells act younger, and you’ll be able to keep doing what you love no matter your biological age.
I’m talking about citrulline.
Citrulline is an amino acid. And it’s the main facilitator in the process that turns on a natural telomere protection factor called nitric oxide. Nitric oxide protects your cells and your telomeres, maintaining their length.3
Citrulline helps and improves the process that makes these telomere protection factors work.4 In fact, when researchers looked at citrulline’s effect, it increased your telomere protection factors by 300 percent! 5
Citrulline is not easy to get in food. In Africa I ate Tsamma, the melon that grows in Namibia and South Africa, which has some citrulline.
On Bali, they have bitter cucumber, which also has contains citrulline. Here at home, the melon with the most citrulline is from the same family. It’s watermelon.
However, most of the citrulline you get in watermelon is in the rind and not the delicious red fruit.
Watermelon juice also has more citrulline than the flesh, but you have to drink three glasses a day to get a good amount of citrulline for a telomere boost.6
Other members of the cucurbit family like cucumbers and cantaloupe have citrulline, too, but not much. You could also eat walnut seedlings, but I don’t recommend it. They’re bitter.
The easiest way to get citrulline is through a powder or an extract.
You can get pure citrulline powder as a supplement. But a tastier way to go might be dried watermelon. It will have quite a bit of citrulline, and it’s very pleasant to add to a glass of water.
The most concentrated form is an extract. Fortunately, for telomere protection, you don’t need much. Just 50 mg a day of citrulline should provide you an additional telomere protection boost.
To Your Good Health,
Al Sears, MD
1. Kaare et. al. “Perceived age as clinically useful biomarker of ageing: cohort study.” BMJ 2009;339:b5262
2. Brouilette S, Singh R, Thompson J, Goodall A, Samani N. “White cell telomere length and risk of premature myocardial infarction.” Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2003;23(5):842-6.
3. Hayashi T, et. al. “Endothelial cellular senescence is inhibited by nitric oxide: implications in atherosclerosis associated with menopause and diabetes.” Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2006;103(45):17018-23.
4. Goodwin B, Solomonson L, Eichler D. “Argininosuccinate synthase expression is required to maintain nitric oxide production and cell viability in aortic endothelial cells.” J Biol Chem. 2004 Apr 30;279(18):18353-60.
5. Wu, Guoyao, Brosnan, John T. “Macrophages can convert citrulline into arginine,” Biochem. J. 1992;281:45-48
6. “Want Citrulline? Try Watermelon.” USDA Agricultural Research Service. ars.usda.gov August 15, 2007.