Omega-3 reduce stress and fight aging

In a paper published in Molecular Psychiatry, a team of Janice K. Kiecolt-Glaser researchers at the Columbus Institute of Behavioral Medicine at the Ohio State University College of Medicine found that; Four months of omega-3 supplementation in middle-aged adults reduces cortisol and inflammation levels, increases telomerase and anti-inflammatory factor levels, reduces stress-mediated cellular aging, and may help fight aging and prevent depression.

The study involved people at high risk for accelerated aging – sedentary and overweight middle-aged people.

Dysregulation of physiological stress response is a risk factor for many physical and mental diseases. Acute stress is usually accompanied by elevated cortisol and pro-inflammatory factors, which can increase the risk of depression on the one hand, and may affect telomerase activity through oxidative stress, leading to telomere shortening, which in turn promotes aging.

Previous studies have found that people with higher blood levels of omega-3 fatty acids tend to have longer telomeres. Consider that supplementation with omega-3 can reduce the body’s underlying inflammation and oxidative stress levels.

Omega-3 can maintain telomerase activity under stress

After the participants completed the high-social stress task (giving an impromptu speech without using notes in front of judges and cameras), the researchers found that the telomerase activity of the participants who did not take Omega-3 supplements dropped sharply, while the telomerase activity of the participants who took Omega-3 supplements remained relatively flat and did not show a significant decline. This means that Omega-3 supplements work in part by maintaining the activity of telomerase, which maintains the integrity of cells’ chromosomes and DNA repair.

Omega-3s can lower levels of stress-related cortisol

Higher cortisol levels are associated with a higher risk of disease and aging, so the researchers measured stress-related cortisol levels in the participants. While Omega-3 did not affect overall cortisol levels during normal functioning, before stress, it did lower cortisol levels after stress

The findings suggest that supplementation with Omega-3(2.5g/ day, taken orally) can reduce the body’s response to stress-related cortisol, that is, Omega-3 can reduce the adverse effects of large amounts of cortisol released due to stress on the cardiovascular system, thereby countering the early damage of cortisol to the body’s cells.

Many chronic diseases, including hypertension and coronary artery calcification, exhibit an excessive cortisol response. Reducing inflammatory responses and stress-induced cortisol release by supplementing with omega-3 may help prevent chronic disease and depression.

Omega-3s reduce inflammation in the body

The researchers measured changes in interleukin 6 in the experiment. Interleukin-6 is an inflammatory molecule that also indicates how old the body is. The measurements found that supplementation with a higher dose of Omega-3(2.5 grams per day) reduced interleukin-6 levels by 33% after the participants were exposed to high social stress, but there was no significant change in interleukin-6 levels after supplementation with a smaller dose (1.25 grams per day).

Therefore, experimental studies have shown that high doses of Omega-3 supplements can effectively reduce the level of interleukin-6, thereby countering the body’s inflammatory response caused by social stress, and thus reversing the age-related response to a certain extent.

Through the above research, Omega-3 supplementation can reduce the impact of social stress on the body in three aspects, namely:

① Maintain the activity of telomerase, so as to maintain the integrity of the chromosomes in the cell, so that the cell life is effectively extended;

② Reduce the secretion of stress-related hormones and protect the body’s cardiovascular system;

③ Reduce the level of interleukin 6, to fight inflammation in the body.

It can be seen that supplementation of Omega-3 can prevent the negative effects of stressors on health, and is necessary to protect the normal function of the body and delay aging. In addition, it can limit the acceleration of aging caused by chromosome decay and inflammation, and prevent age-related diseases such as heart disease, cognitive dysfunction, and metabolic diseases. As much as possible to consume enough Omega-3, for human health and longevity is very beneficial, but because the body itself can not synthesize, so the appropriate choice of supplements to use.


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