Another reason to take that multivitamin: At least in women, regular consumption of the pills seems to ward off potential chromosomal damage, according to research in the June 1 American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. A study of 586 women found that telomeres, regions of DNA that protect the ends of chromosomes, were 5.1 percent longer among regular multivitamin users than nonusers, after controlling for age and other variables. Shorter telomeres have been associated with chromosome damage and aging. the vitamins’ value could come from their antioxidants, which neutralize chemicals that damage DNA, the research suggest.

(Science News, August 15, 2009)