Monthly Archives: February 2012

Why Fish Oil May Slow Aging

Perhaps you’ve heard that taking fish oil is a healthy habit to include in your lifestyle.  However, if your like most, you may find yourself not really knowing ‘why’ it is helpful or what it does – therefore, your motivation to include it in your diet may drop at times.

New information may give an extra ‘boost’ in your motivation, especially for those that are looking to slow down the aging process.

Researchers are looking at telomere shortening as an indicator of the aging process.  Telomeres protect the ends of chromosomes from fusing with each other and their length is an indicator of biological aging.  Science is looking into nutrients that may help SLOW the rate of the shortening, thus slowing the aging process.

I guess in simpler terms, you could say that longer telomeres = longer living.  Thus, any  new evidence on different nutrients impact at protecting the length of telomeres would also be an indicator of life extension.

A study published in JAMA, the journal of the American Medical Association suggests an association with those taking fish oil and longer telomeres.

From the JAMA study:

“Conclusion Among this cohort of patients with 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 5 years.”

Interpretation:  The higher the level of fish oil fatty acids present, the slower the rate associated with the aging process of telomere shortening.

Including fish oil from a quality source is a healthy lifestyle habit.  Large sources of research also find it helpful for heart, skin, brain health and promote lower levels of inflammation in the body.

One considering supplementing with fish oil should be cautious in ensuring that it is a quality fish oil supplement with no impurities.  Some fish oil supplements are provided with safety information via third party assays to ensure no evidence of toxic elements such as heavy metals are present.

Fish oil certainly isn’t alone in it’s effect on protecting the length of telomeres (thus anti-aging), other nutrients showing some signs of protection include Vitamins D, C, E, A, B12, Folic Acid, Niacinamide, Magnesium, tumeric and curcumin extracts.  A good multivitamin to go along with a quality fish oil seems to be a great foundation to start with in your quest toward health.

– Dr. Michael Lau

Natural Health & Chiropractic Center


JAMA. 2010;303(3):250-257. doi: 10.1001/jama.2009.2008