Omega-3 fatty acids linked to slower aging


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Telomere caps he:תמונה:Telomere caps.gif (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Omega-3 fatty acids linked to slower aging

There were several news reports back in January 2010 regarding a press release from researchers regarding their study of Omega-3 and telomeres.  I just discovered this report through a Google search of Omega-3 news.  The excerpt below is from a CBC News report, quoting a report from Matt Rourke/Associated Press.

The report states that “Diets rich in omega-3 fatty acids may help people with heart disease live longer by staving off the biological aging of cells.”   The latest findings, published in Tuesday’s issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, suggest that high levels of omega-3 in the blood are associated with a slower rate of biological aging.  Dr. Ramin Farzaneh-Far of the University of California at San Francisco and his colleagues focused on telomeres — strands of DNA at the end of chromosomes that resemble the plastic that holds the ends of shoelaces together.  “The main result from our study is that patients with high levels of omega-3 fish oil in the blood appear to have a slowing of the biological aging process over five years as measured by the change in telomere length,” Farzaneh-Far said in a news release.

The length of telomeres shrink every time a cell divides, forming a chromosomal clock that reflects aging’s toll.  Scientists suspect that as telomeres shrink, chromosomes become less stable and are therefore more likely to mutate. The 2009 Nobel Prize in Medicine was awarded for research into shortening telomeres.  Farzaneh-Far’s study looked at omega-3 fatty acid levels in the blood of 608 outpatients with stable coronary artery disease who were followed for an average of six years. The team also looked at telomere length in leukocytes, a type of blood cell.  “These findings raise the possibility that omega-3 fatty acids may protect against cellular aging in patients with coronary heart disease,” the study’s authors concluded.

On more reason to focus on increased intake of Omega-3 essential fatty acids.

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