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Does Fish Oil Slow Ageing?

Posted in Health Articles by Pulse Health Screening on October 20, 2010
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Omega-3 fatty acids from fish oils have a direct effect on biological ageing, US research suggests

Fish oil may be the true elixir of youth, according to new evidence of its effect on biological ageing. Omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil preserve the genetic “fuse” that determines the lifespan of cells, say scientists.

The discovery, made in heart disease patients, may explain many of the claimed health benefits of omega-3.

Taking fish oil supplements is said to protect against heart disease, improve survival rates after a heart attack, reduce mental decline in old age and help to prevent age-related changes in the eye that can lead to blindness. Research has also shown that rodents live one-third longer when given a diet enriched with fish-derived omega-3.

Although omega-3 fatty acids have powerful anti-inflammatory properties and lower levels of some blood fats, the mechanisms behind these effects are poorly understood. The new research suggests that omega-3 has a direct effect on biological ageing by slowing down the rate at which protective caps on the ends of chromosomes shorten.

The caps, called telomeres, are made from copied strands of DNA and have a similar function to bookends or the plastic ends of shoelaces. They prevent the ends of chromosomes – the “packages” of DNA in the cell nucleus – becoming damaged and keep the DNA organised and contained.

Each time a cell divides, its telomeres get shorter until a critical point is reached. DNA then becomes damaged and the cell stops dividing, and may die. In this way, the telomere acts like a biological fuse.

The rate at which the fuse “burns” can vary both between individual people and individual cells. This is believed to have an impact on age-related diseases.
US scientists conducting the research looked at the effect of omega-3 fatty acids on telomere shortening in 608 hospital out-patients with heart disease. At the start of the study, measurements were taken of the length of chromosomal telomeres in the patients’ white blood cells.

The tests were carried out again after five years, and showed a clear correlation with omega-3 intake. Patients consuming the least omega-3 had the fastest rate of telomere shortening, while those in the top 25% of consumption levels had the slowest rate.

The scientists, led by Dr Ramin Farzaneh-Far of the University of California at San Francisco, wrote in the Journal of the American Medical Association: “The present findings identify deceleration of telomere attrition as a potentially novel pathway for the anti-ageing effects of marine omega-3 fatty acids.

“In summary, among patients with stable coronary artery disease, there was an inverse relationship between baseline blood levels of marine omega-3 fatty acids and the rate of telomere shortening over five years … These findings raise the possibility that omega-3 fatty acids may protect against cellular ageing in patients with coronary heart disease.”

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The Amazing Benefits of Omega 3 Fish Oils

Posted in Health Articles by Pulse Health Screening on April 26, 2010
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Time and again, in study after study, we’ve seen the remarkable power of omega-3 fatty acids. Specifically we’re talking about EPA and DHA–the long-chain omega-3s.

What do they do? What DON’T they do?

They keep your brain healthy and help prevent cognitive decline.

They reduce depression.

They reduce oxidative damage linked to air pollution exposure.

For those of you who have a prostate, consider it protected from inflammation and cancer by generous omega 3 intake.

And last year, here’s how one researcher summed up omega 3 heart defense: “We now have tremendous and compelling evidence from very large studies, some dating back 20 and 30 years, that demonstrate the protective benefits of omega 3 fish oil in multiple aspects of preventive cardiology.”

Other benefits were found by British and Italian researchers when they divided 55 subjects into two groups. For six months, about half received a daily supplement that contained two grams of EPA. The other half received placebo.

In the EPA group, the number of bowel polyps and the size of bowel polyps were significantly reduced. In the placebo group, the number and size of polyps increased.

That’s impressive. But here’s what’s huge: Before the study, all subjects were diagnosed with familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP). In other words, they were all genetically inclined to produce bowel polyps that frequently develop into cancer.

When a supplement protects healthy people from cancer, that’s significant. But when a supplement protects people who are at high risk of a specific cancer…that’s huge.

But wait–it gets even bigger…

The authors of the study also note that the effectiveness of EPA was similar to COX-2 inhibitors, which also curb polyp growth. In fact, if you’re diagnosed with FAP, your doctor will almost certainly prescribe Celebrex or something similar.

And the difference between the two treatments?

COX-2 inhibitors are prescription, non-steroidal anti- inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) that sharply increase risk of internal bleeding and heart attack when regularly used.

EPA, on the other hand…well, just go back a few paragraphs for that “protective benefits…in…preventive cardiology” quote.

“Eicosapentaenoic Acid Reduces Rectal Polyp Number and Size in Familial Adenomatous Polyposis” Gut, Published online ahead of print 3/18/10,
“Omega-3 Review: Half a Gram Needed for Heart Benefits” Stephen Daniells, NutraIngredients-USA, 8/4/09,

Source: Health Sciences Institute, Baltimore – 26/04/10

For a high quality Omega 3 fish oil supplement with DHA and EPA, try Omega 3 EPA, available at Healthy Choices