There is a plethora of news about the benefits of omega-3 supplements. While some of it may not be positive, such as the recent controversial study on heart health, most news is positive. There is one more reason you should continue or start taking omega-3 supplements; they may help slow down aging.
According to a recent Ohio State University study, omega-3 fatty acids can help preserve telomeres, which play a key role in the aging process.
Add this to the approximately 8 billion benefits of omega-3 fatty acids: They could help preserve DNA segments known as telomeres, whose degradation is a key marker of aging. Shorter telomeres are associated with age-related decline, cancer and a higher risk of death (in one study of people over 60, those with shorter telomeres were three times more likely to die from heart disease and eight times more likely to die from an infectious disease). But according to Ohio State University scientists, taking omega-3 fatty acid supplements (such as fish oil pills) can help lengthen telomeres in middle-aged and older adults.
“The telomere finding is provocative in that it suggests the possibility that a nutritional supplement might actually make a difference in aging,” said Jan Kiecolt-Glaser, a professor at Ohio State and lead author of the study.
All of the study participants — average age 51 — were relatively healthy, despite being either overweight or obese and living sedentary lives (people on mood, cholesterol or blood pressure medication were excluded, as well as regular fish oil users, people who exercised regularly, diabetics, smokers, vegetarians and those with a body mass index below 22.5 or above 40). For four months, those in the noncontrol group took either 2.5 grams or 1.25 grams of omega-3 fatty acids, which are considered “good fats.” The control group got pills containing a mix of fatty acids representing a typical American’s daily intake.
At the end of the study, the group taking omega-3 supplements showed significant telomere lengthening. They also showed 15 percent reduction in oxidative stress in their blood (a process linked to everything from cancer to Alzheimer’s disease) along with decreased inflammation. See original post
While the key to actual reversing of the aging process still remains hidden, delaying the inevitable is still better than doing nothing. One more reason to keep popping that fish oil pill.