What makes certain food types so “essential”? The fact that our bodies don’t make these fatty acids, makes it necessary to get them from our diets. They are important part of building healthy cells, maintaining brain and nerve function and a precursor to certain hormones.
Researchers measured omega-3’s in 2600 older adults at three time points over a 13-year period and found that higher were associated with an 18% lower chance of unhealthy aging. In particular, Omega 3’s from seafood, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), docosapentaenoic acid (DPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) were associated with healthier aging.
"We found that higher blood levels of omega-3s from seafood were associated with a higher likelihood of healthy aging and also saw that people with the highest blood levels of omega-3s self-reported fish intake of about two servings per week," lead author Heidi Lai, PhD.
"This study supports current national guidelines to consume more seafood."
"We're living longer but are not necessarily in good health, and the quality of life in old age is deteriorating."
"In addition to quality-of-life concerns, longevity without good health increases healthcare costs, so as researchers, we want to start to focus on quality of life rather than longevity — a concept we call healthy aging, which means survival until death free of chronic disease and cognitive and physical dysfunction," she continued.
"We know that omega-3 PUFAs, mostly found in seafood, are beneficial for heart health, but we know less of their influence on other chronic diseases and healthy aging," she said.
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