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Fighting aging

Do omega-3 fatty acids help stave off aging? A new study suggests the answer may be yes.

Previous research has shown that heart disease patients who get a lot of omega-3 fatty acids in their diets do better than those who don't. So Ramin Farzaneh-Far of the University of California, San Franciso and colleagues looked at structures known as telomeres, which are the ends of chromosomes and previously have been linked to aging. Every time a cell divides, these structures get a little shorter. Evidence has been accumulating that the faster telomeres unravel, the shorter people may live.

In the new study, the researchers examined the telomeres in white blood cells called leukocytes in 608 patients with heart disease. Over five years, the telomeres of those who had the lowest levels of two omega-3 fatty acids known as docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) shortened faster than those with the highest levels.

While more research is needed, the findings support the idea that omega-3 fatty acids may help people live longer.

Omega-3 fatty acids are found in oily fishes. Scientists suspect these fatty acids may reduce inflammation, prevent blood clots, lower blood pressure and have other benefits..

By Rob Stein  |  January 20, 2010; 6:30 AM ET
Categories:  Aging , Cardiovascular Health  
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Comments

The best way to fight aging? Exercise. Exercise has profound impacts on rejuvenating both the body and mind. Its the best way to stay young. Check out Holosfitness.com for tips on how to get in shape, stay in shape, and lead a healthy lifestyle. Holosfitness.com has hundreds of exercises posted with step-by-step instruction, all of which are completely free. Holosfitness.com also features video demonstration of many workouts. At least two new workouts are posted each week.

Posted by: gstallkamp | January 20, 2010 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Omega 3's aren't only in fatty fish. Try hemp seed, flax seed, chia seed, etc. These are excellent sustainable sources.

Posted by: sarahabc | January 20, 2010 1:54 PM | Report abuse

As we know, aging will happen to all of us regardless of our intake or lifestyle. But, I do agree that Omega-3 supplements should be taken if a person is not getting enough Omega Fatty Acids in their diet. The most important thing to watch as we age is how much vitamins and nutrients we consume. As we may not get enough vitamin B12, we may end up suffering with Alzheimers earlier than later, along with other neurological disorders.
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Posted by: GeriCareFinder | January 21, 2010 7:39 PM | Report abuse

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