“A new UCLA AIDS Institute study has found that a chemical from the Astragalus root, frequently used in Chinese herbal therapy, can prevent or slow progressive telomere shortening, which could make it a key weapon in the fight against HIV,” reports UCLA.

When immune cells lose the ability to divide, they age, which compromises the body’s disease fighting ability. The chemical called TAT2 was used by researchers and found that it can prevent the progressive dividing.

The study was published in The Journal of Immunology (Nov. 15).