Researchers used to think that only regular exercise and coping with stress could keep telomeres healthy. Pixabay
Scientists say the omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil can help people with heart disease live longer. But until now, no one knew why omega-3 oils are so useful. This is what coronary artery disease looks like. Plaque forms in the coronary arteries and blocks blood flow to the heart. Coronary artery disease is one of the leading causes of death worldwide. Numerous studies show that cold water fish – salmon, tuna, and other oily fish – contain omega-3 fatty acids, which can reduce the risk of this disease. But nobody knew exactly why.
Dr. Ramin Farzaneh-Far from the University of California conducted a study to find out whether there might be a link between cell aging and omega-3 acids. “The main finding of our study is that patients with high levels of omega-3 fish oil in their blood seem to have a slowdown in the biological aging process,” said Dr. Farzaneh-Far.
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Protective caps at the ends of chromosomes called telomeres, shown here in red, contain genetic material. When they shorten, the cells age. Dr. Farzaneh-Far and colleagues measured the length of the telomeres in blood cells from 600 heart patients. They wanted to find out whether there was a connection between the content of omega-3 fatty acids and the change in telomere length over a certain period of time.
Scientists say the omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil can help people with heart disease live longer. Pixabay
“Patients with the highest levels of omega-3 fish oils showed the slowest decrease in telomere length, while patients with the lowest levels of omega-3 fish oils in their blood had the fastest rate of telomere shortening, suggesting that these patients age faster than those with higher levels of fish oil in their blood, ”explained Dr. Farzaneh-Far. Dr. Farzaneh-Far says the results of his study support the American Heart Association’s recommendation that heart patients with coronary artery disease consume at least one gram of omega-3 fish oil per day.
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Researchers used to think that only regular exercise and coping with stress could keep telomeres healthy. But eating oily fish or taking omega-3 supplements can also be effective. Dr. At best, Michael Roizen of the Cleveland Clinic says it won’t hurt. “It’s a risk-free way to potentially extend life and reduce disability,” he said. And omega-3 acids aren’t just for heart patients. Omega-3 fatty acids have been linked to relieving joint inflammation, slowing memory loss, and reducing macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness in the elderly. (VOA / JC)
(Omega-3 Fish Oils, Fish Oil Benefits, Fish Oil for the Heart, Omega 3 for Aging)