Higher Levels of This 1 Thing in the Blood Is Linked to a Longer Life, According to New Research
Grilled fish with peperonata
Being optimistic about eating these 9 foods (beans, whole grains, and salmon for victory!) And following these 7 secrets have been shown to help improve your chances of living longer, healthier lives.
And now new research is adding one more detail that certainly can't hurt in our entire longevity landscape. A study published June 16 in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids in the blood were linked to life expectancy 5 years longer than their low-omega-3 counterparts.
We've known for years that omega-3 fats - the heart-healthy kind in salmon, mackerel, sardines, these 8 vegan sources, and more - can reduce the risk of certain cancers, heart disease, and chronic inflammation. And this study builds on the evidence that omega-3s are a boon to our health.
Scientists from the Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute (IMIM) in Barcelona, the Fatty Acid Research Institute in the United States, and several universities in the United States and Canada spent 11 years studying data from 2,240 people over the age of 65 enrolled in the Framingham Junior Cohort. Their goal was to find out how the level of fatty acids in the blood could be related to mortality. Four types of fatty acids, including omega-3 fatty acids, contribute to longer life expectancy.
"Higher levels of these acids in the blood as a result of the regular intake of oily fish in the diet increases life expectancy by almost five years," says Aleix Sala-Vila, Ph.D., postdoctoral fellow in Cardiovascular. of the IMIM Risk and Nutrition Research Group and author of the study. For comparison: "A regular smoker takes 4.7 years of life expectancy, just like you do if you have high omega-3 acids in your blood."
A mere 1% increase in omega-3s in the blood is enough to move the needle, confirms Dr. Sala-Vila in a research report by the Institut Hospital del Mar d'Investigacions Mèdiques in Barcelona. The appropriate intake recommended by the National Institutes of Health: 1.1 grams per day for adult women and 1.6 grams per day for adult men. For reference, 1 tablespoon of flaxseed oil is 7.26 grams, 1 ounce of English walnuts is 2.57 grams, 3 ounces of wild Atlantic salmon is 1.57 grams, and 1 tablespoon of canola oil is 1.28 grams.
Related: Healthy Omega 3 Recipes
While they have yet to test this theory on a larger pool of people outside of the U.S. and with wider economic and racial diversity, Dr. Sala-Vila states that the length and scope of this study mean that "what we found is not" It reinforces the idea that small changes to diet in the right direction can have a much stronger effect than we think, and do it's never too late or too early to make these changes. "
Whole foods are always the best choice over supplements, although the latter can help fill in the gaps if needed. Because oily fish is rich in protein and two of the stronger forms of omega-3 (eicosapentaenoic acid or EPA and docosahexaenoic acid, DHA; both are easier for the body to use than alpha-linolenic acid). , or ALA found in plant-based sources), the American Heart Association recommends eating two 3½-ounce servings of low-mercury, fatty fish at least twice a week.
If you think you're shy, a quick home test like this Omega Quant Omega-3 Index Blood Test Kit (buy: $ 49.95, Amazon) may confirm or deny it. Just use the kit to submit a blood sample and you will be emailed your current omega-3 blood levels within a week or two.
Next up, doing this daily walking exercise can help you live longer.
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