Telomeres, DNA sequences on the finish of chromosomes that shorten as cells replicate and age, doesn’t at all times correlate with chronological age, and there’s proof to counsel telomere shortening could also be modifiable by way of life elements.
“The elements which are strongly related to accelerated telomere shortening and dysfunction are oxidative stress and irritation,” defined scientists from Institute of Genetics and Animal Biotechnology of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Vitamins.
“The power of omega‐3 fatty acids to scale back these damaging results is said not solely to their effectively‐documented useful impact on quite a few ‘way of life’ ailments but additionally to their useful results on telomere biology.
“The usage of omega‐3 fatty acids to scale back accelerated telomere attrition and, consequently, counteract untimely getting older and cut back the danger of age‐associated ailments raises excessive hopes.”
The getting older and lifespan of regular, wholesome cells are linked to the so-called telomerase shortening mechanism, which limits cells to a set variety of divisions. Throughout cell replication, the telomeres perform by guaranteeing the cell’s chromosomes don’t fuse with one another or rearrange, which might result in most cancers.
Elizabeth Blackburn, a telomere pioneer on the College of California San Francisco, likened telomeres to the ends of shoelaces, with out which the lace would unravel.
With every replication the telomeres shorten, and when the telomeres are completely consumed, the cells are destroyed (apoptosis). Telomere shortening or attrition was listed as one of many 9 hallmarks of getting older in a seminal paper printed in Cell in 2013 by Carlos López-Otín et al.
“One issue inversely associated to telomere size is power stress, each in the course of the prenatal interval and childhood, in addition to in grownup life,” wrote the Poland-based scientists in Vitamins. “Melancholy, smoking, weight problems, and alcohol consumption additionally speed up telomere attrition.
“Curiously, dietary restriction and rising dietary antioxidants defend towards telomere shortening. On this context, omega‐3 fatty acids are essential dietary compounds that, attributable to their biochemical properties, could have an effect on the biology of telomeres.”
Their new evaluation of the scientific literature included seven observational (non-interventional) research, which indicated that, normally, omega-3 fatty acids could play a task in telomere biology. Such outcomes, nonetheless, merely present correlation and never causation, which has led researchers to carry out randomized dietary research utilizing omega-3 dietary supplements.
The Poland-based researchers reported 4 such intervention research, which had been carried out in a spread of populations, together with moms and their infants, folks with power renal impairment, older folks affected by delicate cognitive impairment, and wholesome, obese, center‐aged and aged folks. Doses used ranged from simply over one gram per day to 4 grams per day of omega-3 fatty acids.
The info from the randomized trials had been a combined bag, with some indicating a possible profit and others discovering no results.
The reviewers additionally searched the scientific literature for knowledge from animal research, and located three research that confirmed a profit from omega-3 supplementation of the food regimen.
“Whereas the outcomes of the offered cross‐sectional and randomized human and rodent research are usually not totally constant, the overwhelming variety of them have demonstrated the useful results of omega‐3 fatty acids on telomere size,” wrote the reviewers.
Limitations and what’s subsequent?
Regardless of the proof being usually supportive of a task for omega-3 fatty acids to guard towards telomere attrition, the reviewers famous that pattern sizes from some research had been small, whereas additionally noting that telomere size in leukocytes, which is the principle measurement used within the research, could also be totally different to telomere size in different tissues.
“… discrepancies within the offered outcomes nonetheless point out the necessity for a cautious analysis of the kind of omega‐3 fatty acids, their origin, dose and the timing of administration, in addition to age, gender, regional and ethnic variety, and well being standing,” concluded the reviewers.