Fish oil holds the secret to youth

Scientists claim that fatty acids found in oily fish can help keep us young by slowing down cell division

For years doctors have been telling us that fish oils are good for our health, but scientists are now claiming that the fatty acids found in oily fish can help keep us younger for longer.

Salmon, mackerel and sardines are full of omega-3 fatty acids, and official government guidelines recommend eating at least two portions a week to stay healthy.

However, researchers have now found that omega-3 fatty acids also guard a protective ‘cap’ within cells, which determine how long those cells will live.

Cellular ageing, which occurs when these caps become damaged through cell division, is thought to be linked to an increased risk of developing conditions like heart disease and cancer.

Omega-3 slows down the process of cell division by guarding this protective cap, keeping cells stronger for longer.

It is unclear whether there is any benefit for the external signs of ageing such as wrinkles.

Tests conducted on rats found that they lived around a third longer when they were given a diet high in omega-3 fatty acids.

‘These findings raise the possibility that omega-3 fatty acids may protect against cellular ageing in patients with coronary heart disease,’ said Dr Ramin Farzaneh-Far from the University of California.

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