Stress affects the body in many ways. The body usually deals effectively with acute stress. Chronic stress however affects the body negatively and can even accelerate aging.
This randomized, controlled study examined the impact of omega-3 supplementation on cellular aging-related biomarkers following a laboratory speech stressor (Madison AA, et al, 2021).
The participants were 93 sedentary, overweight, middle-aged women and 45 men. They received either 2.5 g of omega 3 fatty acids per day, 1.25 g per day or a placebo for 4 months.
Before and after the trial, participants underwent the Trier Social Stress Test. Saliva and blood samples were also collected before and repeated after the stress test.
Salivary cortisol, (a stress hormone), telomerase in peripheral blood lymphocytes, and the anti-inflammatory IL-10 were measured. Telomerase is an enzyme maintaining the length of telomeres which protect the end of the chromosome from DNA damage.
Also measured were the inflammatory cytokines IL-6, IL-12 and TNF-alpha.
The results showed that both supplementation groups were protected from the placebo group's declines from stress of telomerase and IL-10.
Supplementing with 2.5g of omega-3 fatty acids per day also reduced cortisol with 19% and IL-6 with 33%.
Annelise A Madison, Martha A Belury, Rebecca Andridge, Megan E Renna, M Rosie Shrout, William B Malarkey, Jue Lin, Elissa S Epel, Janice K Kiecolt-Glaser, Omega-3 supplementation and stress reactivity of cellular aging biomarkers: an ancillary substudy of a randomized, controlled trial in midlife adults, Mol Psychiatry. 2021 Apr 20.
- Research has shown many health benefits from Omega 3 fat intake. Several studies are showing evidence that the protective benefits of fish oil prevent death from heart disease.
- The anti-inflammatory effects of Omega 3 fatty acids are well known. Several studies on rheumatoid arthritis using supplements with EPA/DHA, which is found in fish oil, have shown to decrease morning stiffness and reduce the number of painful and swollen joints.