Could omega-3’s really help you live longer? Scientists already know that Omega 3 fatty acids have numerous benefits, including the prevention of heart disease, cancer, arthritis, and more. But now they believe they may have stumbled on evidence that the essential fats can even extend your life.
Omega-3’s and Living Longer
Researchers from the University of California at San Francisco looked at the “telomeres” in DNA of people with heart problems. Telomeres are defined as “stretches of DNA whose length correlates with longevity,” according to the Wall Street Journal.
The cardiologists analyzed telomeres length in 608 patients who had heart blockages and previous heart attacks over a period of five years. What they found was that those people with higher levels of omega-3 fats in their blood had significantly less shortening of the telomeres over the study period.
Those omega-3’s that were analyzed came from marine sources, not plant sources like flax and walnuts, but researchers haven’t ruled out similar benefits from those foods. Lead researcher Ramin Farzaneh-Far remarks, “What we’re demonstrating is a potentially new link between omega-3 fatty acids and the aging process.”
Who isn’t interested in the fountain of youth? And really, who is surprised that it may be found in healthful foods?
This particular study didn’t look at whether the omega-3’s came from food or supplements, but the general consensus is that food sources often provide the best of all nutrients.
Omega 3 fats are considered “essential fats” because they aren’t produced by the body and it’s crucial that we obtain them from the diet. They have been linked to numerous health benefits; in addition to being a great addition to a diet for breast cancer patients, other benefits include:
- Prevention of breast cancer
- Keeping you slim
- Increased fertility
- Arthritis treatment
- Prevention of cardiac death
- Supporting fertility
- Reduction of cholesterol
Most research has looked at omega 3 fats from fish sources, including fatty fish like herring, salmon, and sardines. But other omega 3 fats can also be found in walnuts, flax seeds, soybeans, and other plant sources. But be careful of ingesting seafood or soybeans; seafood is very often contaminated and soybeans are most often genetically modified.