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According to a new study published in The BMJ, higher levels of the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish may increase your chances of healthy aging. Although people in our society are living longer, the way in which they age has been of some concern. Researchers have begun to examine how to live a more meaningful life, free from chronic disease and mental or physical disability.
Omega-3 fatty acids are a healthy fat, and have been shown to protect the brain, heart, and cardiovascular system. Researchers looked at four types of omega-3s: eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and docosapentaenoic acid (DPA), found in seafood, and alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), found in plants. Fatty acids derived from seafood are known as long chain omega-3s.
Those with the highest EPA levels showed a 24% lower risk of unhealthy aging, while those with the highest DPA levels had an 18-21% lowered risk. DHA from seafood and ALA from plants were not shown to be associated with healthy aging.
While the study does not prove causation, the association between our diet and our long-term health is important. Heidi Lai, a postdoctoral fellow at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University and lead researcher on the study, concluded:
These findings encourage the need for further investigations into plausible biological mechanisms and interventions related to [omega-3 fatty acids] for the maintenance of healthy aging, and to support guidelines for increased dietary consumption of fish in older adults.”
The research is accompanied by an editorial by professor Yeyi Zhu of the Kaiser Permanente Northern California Division of Research in Oakland, CA, who stresses the importance of researching healthy aging as opposed to longevity alone. “We live in challenging times, when lifespans are increasing but healthy lifespans are not. Following the World Health Organization’s policy framework for healthy aging, any evidence-based clues to improve health in later life are welcome, but additional efforts to accelerate this area of research are essential.”
It’s interesting to note that, of more than 2,600 subjects studied between 1992 and 2005, only 11% experienced healthy aging. Here at TTAC, we put an enormous emphasis on nutrition. Food is fuel for our bodies, and the choices we make can drastically impact our overall health. In addition to cardiovascular health, omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to reduce anxiety and depression, fight inflammation, and may even help prevent certain cancers.
The authors acknowledge that the preventative health benefits may explain the correlation with healthy aging. They mention its ability to help regulate inflammation and blood pressure, both major factors in chronic disease. In fact, heart disease and cancer have been the top two causes of death for nearly a century. And there may be a correlation; people who practice healthy heart habits are 38% less likely to develop cancer.
“In our study we found that adults with higher blood levels of omega-3s from seafood were more likely to live longer and healthier lives. So, it is a great idea to eat more fish,” says Lai. Proper nutrition can either promote disease or prevent it. Seafood is a well-established source of the long-chain omega-3 fatty acids and has been associated with a decreased brain tumor risk. Some of the best sources include wild-caught salmon, sardines, anchovies, and shellfish.
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Dear Ty and Charlene. Your hard work to teach people how to heal themselves naturally is very appreciated. It is giving my husband, myself and our family great hope. My husband has stage 4 prostate cancer. About 3 weeks ago he doctor sent him home to die. He said there is nothing more he can do. He said he is sorry and gave me a hug. My husband was in constant pain because the cancer has metastasized to his bones. About a week ago I started him on a very healthy diet. Not a grain of sugar. Raw vegetable smoothies with some fruit in it. Some cooked vegetables, healthy fats and some whole grains. Within the last 3 days his pain stopped completely. He stopped all medications like oxicodone and
Tylenol. Is there anything I can add to his healing process. He still doesn’t have much of an appetite and s still very weak. But can walk with a walker short distances. Before he was completely bedridden. His physical therapist couldn’t get over how much he improved in just one week. She kept saying it over and over. I do hope u get and read this message. Maybe u can tell me what i’m still missing. Also, can he have fruit coffee?
Also want to say God Bless you.
A doctor who trained health practitioners all over the country told me there are only three causes of prostate cancer: yeast, virus and lubrication ( meaning lack of essential fatty acids, see the article above.) Your husband can do his own saliva test to check about yeast (meaning Candida, instructions can be found online.) Given this information, lots of potent probiotics along with the herb Cat’s Claw can sometimes work wonders. Start slowly with the Cat’s Claw, however, as you don’t want to stimulate a kill rate that’s too high. It often takes 3 months to clear out the Candida, and correcting leaky gut is essential, since Candida is a normal part of gut flora, and can leak through to the rest of the body.