A new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association suggests that fish oil has potential anti-ageing benefits, adding to the long list of health benefits already with strong scientific backing, including brain function, mood, learning and development, cardiovascular health, joint health and age-related macular degeneration.
The study, from the University of California, recruited 608 patients with coronary heart defects to observe the effects of omega-3 on heart health; after five years, scientists repeated these tests and discovered that those patients with the highest omega-3 intake showed a 32% reduction in cellular aging – a marker of biological age.
This story has spread like wildfire across national newspapers worldwide – an exciting finding which adds further weight to the notion that the secret to longevity is to approach our health from the inside out. What we eat nourishes us from the inside, and a healthy, youthful body is more likely to look youthful on the outside too. Anti-ageing creams applied topically to the skin may help to slow the visual signs of ageing, but what really is key to slowing the ageing process is our physiological health – and that can’t be faked or cheated.
The Guardian covered this story last week, likening the protective effect of omega-3s on our cells to the plastic at the ends of shoelaces, “preventing the ends of chromosomes… becoming damaged and keep the DNA organised and contained.”
This is good news for those of us who want to slow down the ageing process, staying healthier for longer. Omega-3s are easily incorporated into the daily diet, whether by increasing our consumption of oily fish, or by taking purified omega-3 fish oil supplements, which enable us to take concentrated doses of these beneficial nutrients, without exposure to the contaminants present especially in larger species of fish.
The authors of this study importantly point out that omega-3s are just one of the factors involved in this aspect of the ageing process in cells, citing oxidative stress as another influence over our biological age. In this respect it is really important to pay attention to other areas of the diet, particularly in relation to eating plenty of antioxidant-rich fruit and vegetables, preferably organic sources in order to avoid fertilizers and herbicides. Vitamin E and vitamin C are potent antioxidants and can be sourced via the diet or through supplementation.
Our purified omega-3 supplements derived from anchovy oil promote the benefits of the long-chain fatty acid EPA, known in particular for its role in brain function, mood and cardiovascular health. Read more about our range of purified omega-3 products, which are endorsed by leading medical professionals.
Farzaneh-Far, R. Lin, J., Epel, E.S.,. Harris W.S, Blackburn, E.H. Whooley, M.A, ‘Association of Marine Omega-3 Fatty Acid Levels With Telomeric Aging in Patients With Coronary Heart Disease’,Journal of the American Medical Association 2010, Volume 303, Issue 3, pp. 250-257.