Over the past years we’ve all heard of Omega 3. It’s been shown that they do seem to improve your health especially those with heart disease. Not only that, Omega 3 oils have been shown to prevent heart disease too. Now, doctors and researchers don’t know at the moment how Omega 3 oils do this. But a there’s a recent study which may shed some light on this.
Turning back a cell’s age
In an attempt to understand the connection between omega-3 and a healthy heat, researchers looked at ‘telomere’ length, and yes, telomeres is a new word to me too! Telomeres cover the ends of DNA, they’re similar to the plastic ends on shoelaces that prevent them from unraveling.
Researchers have found that the length of a telomere is one way to measure the age of cell. This is because, as the cell ages the telomere shrink, they become shorter. So the shorter the length of the telomere the older the cell is. And when the telomere shrinks so much that it can no longer protect the ends of the DNA from damage, the cell enters into a ‘resting phase’ or simply dies, it’s then replaced by a new cell.
Omega 3 oils means younger cells?
This study took 608 people with a heart condition that was stable. The researchers simply measured the telomere length of the white blood cells for each of the study participants, once at the start of the study and then again and the end, which was five years later. The researchers also noted the levels omega-3 fats in the blood too.
The study’s results showed that the participants who had the highest levels of omega-3 fats in the their blood at the inception of the study experienced the slowest rates of telomere shortening in the 5 year study period. The shortening telomere rates were much more rapid, in those participants that had the lower levels of omega-3 in their blood.
The study conclusions indicate that omega-3 oils may be helpful in protecting cells from premature ageing, and could be a possible explanation as to why omega-3 oils are so beneficial for maintaining a healthy heart, even with those who have heart disease to start with. The researchers conclude that more studies are needed in this area.
Do you take enough Omega-3?
The risks of cancer and other chronic diseases could also be lowered by taking omega-3 oils.
There are many excellent food sources for omega-3 oils, these include linseeds, olive oil, spirulina, chia seeds, wheatgrass powder, and walnuts too. By making a small addition to our diet, we can all make sure we’re getting enough omega-3.