Omega 3 fatty acids have been documented to provide numerous health benefits. The study referred to here investigated the effect of omega 3 fatty acids from fish oil on telomere length, a marker of biological aging (Farzaneh-Far R, et al. 2010).
Biological age is the physiological age (real age). Your biological age can be either more or less than your chronological age. A sixty year old person in good shape could for example have a biological age of only 50 years compared to a person that is not in shape who for example could have a biological age of 70 years.
In this study, telomere length was used as an indicator of biological aging. A telomere is a region of repetitive DNA at the end of a chromosome, protecting the chromosome from damage. The lengths of telomeres are linked to aging. A shortened telomere is associated with increased aging.
In this study, the lengths of telomeres were measured at the beginning of the study and after a 5 year follow up in patients with cardiovascular disease. Also measured were the levels of the omega 3 fatty acids EPA and DHA.
It was interesting that the individuals in the lowest quartile of EPA, DHA experienced the fastest rate of telomere shortening compared to those in the highest quartile of EPA, DHA.
According to this study, omega 3 fatty acids from fish oil lowered the biological age.
If you want to know more about the many benefits of omega 3 fatty acids, click here.
Farzaneh-Far R, Lin J, Epel ES, Harris WS, Blackburn EH, Whooley MA. Association of marine omega-3 fatty acid levels with telomeric aging in patients with coronary heart disease. JAMA. 2010 Jan 20;303(3):250-7.