Senior Citizens Live Years Longer by
Omega-3 Fatty Acids in Fish
Risk of dying from heart disease significantly
lowered: Seniors with highest blood levels of the fatty acids lived 2.2
April 2, 2013 – Older adults age 65
and up who have higher blood levels of omega-3 fatty acids, which are
found almost exclusively in fatty fish and seafood, may be able to lower
their overall mortality risk by as much as 27% and their mortality risk
from heart disease by about 35%, according to a new study from Harvard
School of Public Health (HSPH) and the University of Washington.
Researchers found that older adults
who had the highest blood levels of the fatty acids found in fish lived,
on average, 2.2 years longer than those with lower levels.
“Although eating fish has long been
considered part of a healthy diet, few studies have assessed blood
omega-3 levels and total deaths in older adults,” said lead author
associate professor in the Department of Epidemiology at HSPH.
“Our findings support the
importance of adequate blood omega-3 levels for cardiovascular health,
and suggest that later in life these benefits could actually extend the
years of remaining life.”
first to look at how objectively measured blood biomarkers of fish
consumption relate to total mortality and specific causes of mortality
in a general population—appears online April 1, 2013 in Annals of
Previous studies have found that
fish, which is rich in protein and heart-healthy fatty acids, reduces
the risk of dying from heart disease. But the effect on other causes of
death or on total mortality has been unclear.
With this new study, the
researchers sought to paint a clearer picture by examining biomarkers in
the blood of adults not taking fish oil supplements, in order to provide
the best assessments of the potential effects of dietary consumption of
fish on multiple causes of death.
The researchers examined 16 years
of data from about 2,700 U.S. adults aged 65 or older who participated
in the Cardiovascular Health Study (CHS), a long-term study supported by
the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.
Participants came from four U.S.
communities in North Carolina, California, Maryland, and Pennsylvania;
and all were generally healthy at baseline. At baseline and regularly
during follow-up, participants had blood drawn, underwent physical
examinations and diagnostic testing, and were questioned about their
health status, medical history, and lifestyle.
The researchers analyzed the total
proportion of blood omega-3 fatty acids, including three specific ones,
in participants’ blood samples at baseline. After adjusting for
demographic, cardiovascular, lifestyle, and dietary factors, they found
that the three fatty acids - both individually and combined - were
associated with a significantly lower risk of mortality.
One type in particular -
docosahexaenoic acid, or DHA - was most strongly related to lower risk
of coronary heart disease (CHD) death (40% lower risk), especially CHD
death due to arrhythmias (electrical disturbances of the heart rhythm)
(45% lower risk).
Of the other blood fatty acids
measured - eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosapentaenoic acid (DPA) -
DPA was most strongly associated with lower risk of stroke death. EPA
was most strongly linked with lower risk of nonfatal heart attack. None
of these fatty acids were strongly related to other, noncardiovascular
causes of death.
Overall, study participants with
the highest levels of all three types of fatty acids had a 27% lower
risk of total mortality due to all causes.
When the researchers looked at how
dietary intake of omega-3 fatty acids related to blood levels, the
steepest rise in blood levels occurred when going from very low intake
to about 400 mg per day; blood levels rose much more gradually
“The findings suggest that the
biggest bang-for-your-buck is for going from no intake to modest intake,
or about two servings of fatty fish per week,” said Mozaffarian.
Support for the study came from the
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) and the Office of
Dietary Supplements of the National Institutes of Health
“Plasma Phospholipid Long-Chain
Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Total and Cause-Specific Mortality in Older
Adults,” Dariush Mozaffarian, Rozenn N. Lemaitre, Irena B. King,
Xiaoling Song, Hongyan Huang, Molin Wang, Frank M. Sacks, Eric B. Rimm,
and David S. Siscovick, Annals of Internal Medicine, online April 1,
UK researchers find omega-3 fatty acids slow down osteoarthritis, at least in guinea pigs; I think it worked for me!
By Tucker Sutherland, editor, SeniorJournal.com
Oct. 17, 2011 – As an active
– well very active – tennis player for many years, when I turned 70 I was worried my playing days might end due to my aching knees. I never
took the court without wearing the latest in knee protection devices. Then, shortly after I increased my daily regimen of fish oil pills, the
knee pain disappeared. I was convinced my joints were now better “oiled.” New research says there may be something to this.
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AMD - major cause of blindness in senior citizens
Women who ate the
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blindness in senior citizens
March 15, 2011
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