Digital News Report – There may be a relation between omega-3 fatty acid and aging. A recent study in the January 20 issue of JAMA found that patients suffering from coronary heart disease (CHD) that had higher levels of omega-3 also had a slower rate of shortening of telomeres.
Telomeres are a region of repetitive DNA at the end of a chromosome. Telomeres aid in protecting the chromosomes from deterioration. The loss of these telomeres will affect stability of cell division (replication). Telomere lengths are increasingly being used to determine biological age.
Researchers have known that a diet rich in marine omega-3 can increase survival rates in people with cardiovascular disease, but they were not sure why. The protective effect was not understood.
Telomere length is affected by genetic factors and environmental stressors.
Researchers measured the blood levels of various substances between September 2000 and December 2002 for the Heart and Soul Study. They did it again 5 years later.
The researchers concluded: “In summary, among patients with stable coronary artery disease, there was an inverse relationship between baseline blood levels of marine omega-3 fatty acids and the rate of telomere shortening over 5 years.”
“These findings raise the possibility that omega-3 fatty acids may protect against cellular aging in patients with coronary heart disease.”
By: Jason Chang