Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Life Span

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Fish oil is one of my favorite supplements. However, while I take it to help my old man aching joints, I’ve really never thought of it as a longevity supplement, that is, until some recent research. Let’s dig in.

A Review of Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Fish oil has Omega-3 fatty acids. Certain types of Omega-3s like DHA and EPA have different roles. In particular, EPA is a component that may help joint pain, so I take large amounts every day.

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The New Research

The Framingham study group is one of the longest-running longitudinal health data sets in existence. Since 1971, the residents of this small Massachusetts town have given us everything from heart health data to their knee annual MRI images. That’s where the data for this new Omega-3 research originates.

The research looked at 2,200 people who were monitored for 11 years for their blood fatty acid levels (1). The researchers found that omega-3 levels in red blood cells are very good mortality risk predictors. That means that higher levels of Omega-3 in the blood from regularly eating oily fish, increased life expectancy by almost five years.

How significant is that? Being a regular smoker takes 4-7 years off your life span, which is the same gain as having high levels of omega-3 acids in your blood. So that’s a HUGE difference.

Here Are Some Great Past Blogs To Review

The upshot? I’m now very glad I’ve been pounding high-quality fish oil supplements for more than a decade! It helps my joints and with a little luck, maybe it will help my longevity!

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References:

(1) Michael I McBurney, Nathan L Tintle, Ramachandran S Vasan, Aleix Sala-Vila, William S Harris. Using an erythrocyte fatty acid fingerprint to predict risk of all-cause mortality: the Framingham Offspring Cohort. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2021; DOI: 10.1093/ajcn/nqab195

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Chris Centeno, MD is a specialist in regenerative medicine and the new field of Interventional Orthopedics. Centeno pioneered orthopedic stem cell procedures in 2005 and is responsible for a large amount of the published research on stem cell use for orthopedic applications. View Profile

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