Take This, Look Younger

Is the fountain of youth actually a nutritional supplement? Researchers at Ohio State University think so.

They found that taking omega-3 supplements helped slow the body’s aging process by lengthening telomeres—parts of DNA in white blood cells that naturally shorten over time. Telomeres act like caps at the ends of chromosomes, so if they shorten, the DNA can unravel, which means major bad news for your cells.

Another plus? Omega-3 supplements were also shown to lower inflammation levels in the same study. Researchers believe that the less inflammation, the better for the preservation of telomeres.

This one-two punch of lengthened telomeres and reduced inflammation could potentially decrease the risk for other major diseases associated with aging like heart disease, type 2 diabetes, arthritis, and Alzheimer’s disease, study authors say. Omega-3 supplementation also reduced oxidative stress—caused by excessive free radicals in the blood—by about 15% compared.

Bottom line: While omega-3s won’t prevent wrinkles or other physical signs of aging, they could help you live a longer, happier life.

So how much do you need? In this study, participants took a supplement containing 2.5 grams or 1.25 grams of active omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids. Be sure to take less than 3 grams a day since fish oil can thin your blood.

There are also plenty of ways to eat your way to higher omega-3 levels:

Fatty Fish

  • Salmon
  • Tuna
  • Sardines
  • Mackerel
  • Anchovies
  • Herring

Nut and Plant Oils

  • Walnut oil
  • Canola Oil
  • Soybean Oil

Nuts and Seeds

  • Flaxseeds
  • Chia seeds
  • Walnuts
  • Pecans
  • Pine nuts

Additional reporting by Jessica Girdwain

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