We’ve all heard or read about Omega 3 oils, or fatty acids, in the last few years, and we’ve been told that they’re good for our health, especially for those with heart disease.
Now the interesting thing is, researchers don’t know exactly why Omega 3 oils are so good for us, or how they protect our heart. They just know that they do.
However, a new sturdy recently published seems to gives some new insights on how and why Omega 3 works.
It’s all about reversing a cell’s age
In trying to find the link between a healthy heart and omega 3 oils, the researchers studied the length of ‘telomeres’. Telomeres coat both ends of each strand of DNA, they’re a bit like the plastic ends of shoelaces, which stop the lace from unwinding.
The length of a telomere’s a good base line to measure a cells age. The older the cell, the shorter the telomere becomes. And it’s when the telomere shrinks, becoming too small to protect the DNA ends from being damaged. The cell starts to die, and this leads to it being replaced by newer cells.
More omega-3 oils, 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 results of the study found that the subjects with the highest omega-3 fat levels at the start of the study had the slowest rate of telomere shortening over the five years. Whereas the telomere of the subjects with low levels of omega-3 oils, became shorter much more quickly.
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.
Omega-3, are you taking enough?
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.