Omega-3 Fatty Acids Prevent Heart Disease and Slows Aging
Research has now shown that Omega-3 Fatty Acids can increase the survival rate of those with coronary heart disease, as well as slow down cellular ageing.
Telomeres are a part of DNA. Typically they act as “plastic tips of shoelaces”, protecting genes and helping cells divide properly. Unfortunately, telomeres shorten with age, and without them a lot of diseases can develop. Interestingly, infection, smoking, lack of exercise, and obesity can also affect telomere length. That is mind blowing considering its effect is at the level of your DNA! To support this, a meta analysis in 2018 found that there was a significant relationship between telomere length and stroke rate . So remember to watch that cholesterol diet too!
JAMA Research on Omega-3 and Aging
In 2010, a study was done on 608 patients with coronary heart disease . They were either given omega-3 or placebo. And after 5 years researchers measured their blood Omega-3 fatty acids and telomere length. Those who had high levels of Omega-3s in the blood had a slower rate of telomere shortening. This means that it is possible to slow down cellular ageing with Omega-3s! However, we still don’t know the exact mechanism yet. The authors suspect that it is either related to oxidative stress or the increased action of the enzyme telomerase. If you have time check out the article, it’s a good read.
Omega-3 Health Benefits
Omega-3 fatty acids are known to have anti-inflammatory and anti-clotting properties. It’s almost like non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) used for pain, except that it is weaker. Other uses include lowering blood pressure, slowing macular degeneration, helping with depression, increasing joint flexibility, aiding memory and lowering triglycerides. Unfortunately your body cannot produce omega-3s, so you need to obtain it from diet or supplement. However, before you take the supplement, you should probably consult your doctor just in case. Some people who are on blood thinners, or are taking NSAIDS should be careful of omega-3s.
Fish Oil Omega-3s
The American Heart Association recommends fish oil as a source of Omega-3 fatty acids. If you look at Japan and Greenland, they eat a great deal of Omega-3 containing fish, and both of those nations have the world`s lowest rate of heart disease. As you can see, you don’t actually need to take fish oil supplements. Occasionally including a salmon steak in your diet would do the job too. The reason why most people recommend fish oil is simply because plants have an omega-3 that is harder to process. But if you take enough it doesn’t really matter. Sources like flax seed, chia seed, walnut, leafy greens, legumes, and seaweed are also great alternatives.
- Medicine, A. (n.d.). Relationship between short telomere length and stroke: A… : Medicine. Retrieved July 21, 2020, from https://journals.lww.com/md-journal/Fulltext/2018/09280/Relationship_between_short_telomere_length_and.60.aspx
- Ramin Farzaneh-Far, M. (2010, January 20). Association of Marine Omega-3 Fatty Acid Levels With Telomeric Aging in Patients With Coronary Heart Disease. Retrieved July 21, 2020, from https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/185234