Omega-3 Fatty Acids May Have Beneficial Effect On Telomeres
Telomeres are pieces of DNA that protect the ends of chromosomes. Telomeres shorten as we age and when they become too short, cells stop replicating. Shortened telomeres are a major contributor to the aging process and have also been associated with increased risk of cancer. According to a new study, omega-3 fatty acids may have a beneficial effect on telomere length.
For their study, the researchers used data from 4 intervention studies. The studies included a range of populations and used omega-3 fatty acid doses of 1 gram to 4 grams daily. The association between omega-3 fatty acid levels and telomere length was analyzed.
While the results of the studies were not entirely consistent, most of them demonstrated beneficial effects on telomere length associated with omega-3 fatty acids. Accelerated telomere shortening can result from oxidative stress and inflammation, which omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to reduce.
The study was conducted by researchers from the Institute of Genetics and Animal Biotechnology of the Polish Academy of Sciences. It was published online ahead of print on September 9, 2022, in the journal Nutrients.
A previous study found that omega-3 supplementation may help protect telomeres from stress.