Fish oils linked (again) to anti-ageing

Fish oils linked (again) to anti-ageing

A research study by Ohio State University researchers (online - Brain, Behaviour, and Immunity) found that overweight but healthy middle-aged and older adults who took a substantial amount (either 2.5 grams or 1.25 grams) of omega-3 supplements regularly for four months altered a ratio of their fatty acid consumption in a way that boosted preservation of tiny DNA segments in their white blood cells. These are called telomeres and we have covered the role of omega-3 with them before in Cancer Watch. 



Telomeres shorten over time and this shortening is linked to the ageing process. Telomeres hold the ends of the DNA together (think of shoe laces having plastic covers at their ends) and stop the DNA unravelling.



The Ohio State scientists found that lengthening of telomeres in immune system cells was more prevalent in people who substantially improved the ratio of omega-3s to other fatty acids in their diet. What´s more, the substantial and regular supplementation also reduced oxidative stress, known to be caused by excessive free radicals in the blood, by about 15 percent compared to the oxidative stress measured in a control group of research subjects who received placebos instead of real supplements.



"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, professor of psychiatry and psychology at Ohio State University and lead author of the study.


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