In what researchers are calling “exciting new research”, omega-3s may not just help you stay healthier but may literally help you live longer. According to researchers at the University of California San Francisco, omega-3 supplements help balance out the ratio of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids in the body. This balance helps lower stress and inflammation which may slow the immune system cells aging process.
Your cells have chromosomes. On the end of those chromosomes are parts called “telomeres” which are there to protect the chromosome from becoming damaged or fusing with another chromosome (which causes cancer). Cells are always aging and replicating. With every time that cells replicate, the telomeres get shorter, your cells are less protected, and your body ages.
What the study has found is that supplementing your diet with omega-3s helps lower your oxidative stress and inflammation, two factors that strongly impact those telomeres by balancing the omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in your body. By significantly lowering levels of oxidative stress and inflammation, the telomeres are less affected and stay longer. Thus, omega-3s may have yet another added benefit, slowing cell aging.
What researchers found most exciting was the omega-3 supplementation did not simply prevent telomere decay but actually helped increase telomere length in the cells in just a four month period. Other studies had found this to be the case over much longer trials and another previous study had found omega-3 supplements to slow down the cell aging process in people who suffer from heart disease.
Although more research remains to be done, these findings suggest that if you aren’t already taking omega-3 supplements for their countless benefits, you should definitely start if you want to try to slow down the aging process (who doesn’t?) and lower inflammation in your body.