Higher Blood Levels of Omega-3 May Increase Lifespan

While there is already a large body of existing evidence detailing the benefits of omega-3s, the new research indicates that higher levels of this fatty acid in the bloodstream are linked to a longer and healthier life. A new study shows how a steady intake of omega-3 may increase lifespan, shedding new light on the benefits of this fatty acid.

These new findings provide even more motivation for health-savvy individuals to be intentional about taking in plenty of omega-3s. Here is what you need to know about omega-3 fatty acids and how you can ensure that you are giving your body what it needs.

What Are Omega-3s?

Higher Blood Levels of Omega-3 May Increase Lifespan 1Omega-3 is a type of polyunsaturated fatty acid that provides energy to the body. These fatty acids deliver a wide array of benefits, including boosting heart health, improving the body’s immune response and contributing to healthy fetal development.

Omega-3s are an essential fatty acid, meaning that the body does not produce them on its own. Because the body does not inherently make this fatty acid, you will need to be intentional about getting it from food or supplement sources.

Omega-3 fatty acids fall into three primary categories. These three types are alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). ALA is generally found in plant foods, such as vegetable oils, nuts, seeds and some types of vegetables. Both EPA and DHA are found in fatty fish, including salmon and tuna. Because it can be difficult to get enough of these acids through diet alone, many people use supplements to get to the desired level of consumption.

Previously Known Health Benefits of Omega-3s

Aside from the fact that omega-3 may increase lifespan, previous research has made it crystal clear why you should be purposeful about including omega-3s in your diet. Here are a handful of the proven ways that boosting your intake of this fatty acid can improve your overall health.

Helps Maintain Healthy Blood Pressure and Cholesterol Levels

High blood pressure and high cholesterol are especially dangerous to your overall health. Boosting your intake of omega-3s has been shown to help protect against both of these dangerous conditions.

Reduces Risk of Cardiovascular Disease

As omega-3s work to help maintain healthy blood pressure and cholesterol levels, it simultaneously reduces your risk of developing cardiovascular disease. This reduction happens in large part because of the ability of omega-3s to lower triglyceride levels in the bloodstream

Eases Symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis

A diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids may protect against inflammation in the body caused by rheumatoid arthritis. This can reduce pain, stiffness and tenderness in the joints.

Boosts Brain Function and Mental Health

Omega-3 is also helpful in guarding brain development and function, delivering mental health benefits as a result.

Lowers Risk of Developing Glaucoma

Studies have demonstrated that a higher intake of omega-3s may reduce intraocular pressure in the eye, helping to prevent the onset of glaucoma as you age.

Improves Infant Brain Development

DHA supplementation has been shown to promote intelligence in babies and toddlers, prompting many doctors to recommend that women take this omega-3 when pregnant and trying to conceive.

How Omega-3 May Increase Lifespan

In addition to these previously known benefits, a recent study out of the Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute (IMIM) in Barcelona, Spain, as well as the Fatty Acid Research Institute (FARI) in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, has demonstrated the role that omega-3s may have in increasing an individual’s lifespan. In the study, the researchers tracked 2,240 study participants over the course of 11 years, analyzing omega-3 levels along the way.

The participants were divided into four groups based on their smoking habits and the level of omega-3s in their blood. The data found that the non-smokers with the highest levels of omega-3s in their bloodstream achieved the longest survival estimate. Those smokers with high levels of the fatty acid had nearly the same survival estimate as non-smokers with low omega-3 levels. The lowest survival estimate came with the group of smokers with low levels of omega-3.

These results point to the importance of omega-3 intake as a step to increase longevity.

Incorporating Omega-3s Into Your Diet

Higher Blood Levels of Omega-3 May Increase LifespanNow that you understand the importance of omega-3s for a myriad of health and wellness reasons, you need to know how you can incorporate this fatty acid into your diet. Cold-water fish are the most widely recognized vehicle for getting in your recommended amounts of omega-3s. Good sources include salmon, sardines, mackerel and rainbow trout.

It is understandable if you do not want to eat this type of fish on a daily basis. Other good ways to get in your omega-3s include eating mussels, flaxseed, chia seeds and eggs that have been fortified with this fatty acid. Certain dietary supplements also contain valuable omega-3 fatty acids.


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