Omega-3 fatty acids may slow aging in heart patients

January 21, 2010 in Heart Health, Nutrition Topics in the News

Omega-3 fatty acids may slow aging in heart patients
Studies have shown that a diet high in omega-3 fatty acids can help guard against heart attack, stroke and dementia, but new study findings released this week are adding one more health benefit to the list.  It turns out that omega-3 fatty acids can also help protect against cellular aging, and turn back the biological clock in heart patients.

Researchers from the University of California in San Francisco found that among patients with stable coronary artery disease, there was an inverse relationship between blood levels of omega-3 fatty acids and telomere shortening, a marker of biological age.  In other words, patients with the highest intakes of omega-3 fatty acids had the slowest rate of biological aging at the cellular level.  

While the study provides insight on how omega-3 fatty acids can benefit people with exiting heart disease, its not clear if the results apply to healthy people as well.  Further studies are also needed to find out just how much omega-3s have to be consumed to offer the level of protection seen in this study, since patients didn’t receive a supplement, and their dietary intake wasn’t documented.  

The best dietary sources of omega-3 fatty acids include salmon, herring, sardines and mackerel.  Plant-based sources of the fatty acid can be found in walnuts and flaxseeds.

For more information on how to lower your risk of heart disease through diet and nutrition, check out Leslie Beck’s latest book, Heart Healthy Foods for Life.

All research on this web site is the property of Leslie Beck Nutrition Consulting Inc. and is protected by copyright. Keep in mind that research on these matters continues daily and is subject to change. The information presented is not intended as a substitute for medical treatment. It is intended to provide ongoing support of your healthy lifestyle practices.