How would you like to take a magic pill to slow down your aging process? I'm talking about literally adding years to your life. Sounds like something from a fairy tale, I know. But especially for heart disease patients, this magic pill is for real.
It all starts with your telomeres...
A telomere is a tiny "cap" found at the end of each of your chromosomes. Some experts liken a telomere to the plastic wrap at the end of a shoelace. The plastic stops the shoelace from unraveling. Likewise, telomeres protect your chromosomes from mutating or fusing with each other, which can lead to cancer and other diseases.
But your telomeres change with age. They get shorter. In fact, each time one of your cells replicates, the telomere on those chromosomes become shorter. Things like poor eating habits, smoking, drinking alcohol, and oxidative stress can also shorten your telomeres.
When a telomere is totally gone, the cell dies.
This has led many scientists to conclude that the shorter your telomeres, the older your biological age. In fact, Dr. Richard M. Cawthon and his colleagues at the University of Utah discovered that your telomere length has a direct affect on your lifespan. They found that men and women over 60 with shorter telomeres are three times more likely to die from heart disease. And they're eight times more likely to die from infectious disease.
And that's not all...
When Cawthon divided men and women into two groups based on telomere length, they found something interesting. The group with longer telomeres lived five years longer than the group with shorter chromosome caps. In fact, in a recent interview, Dr. Cawthon said that if you could find a way to protect your telomeres, he believes you could add 10, 20, or even 30 years to your lifespan.
And now – thanks to scientists from the University of California, San Francisco – we know there is one thing you can do to prevent your telomeres from shortening...
Get more omega-3 fatty acids!
Omega-3s protect DNA
Scientists from SCSF recruited 608 outpatients with stable coronary artery disease (CAD). Why'd they pick CAD patients? Well, it's an established fact that omega-3s have a positive impact on heart health. But until now, scientists haven't understood why (or how) this nutrient protects the heart.
So they measured the length of the patients' telomeres and the level of omega-3 fatty acids in their blood streams. Then the scientists made a note of those scores and rechecked these patients five years later.
And what did they find?
Well, as you'd expect, the patients with plenty of omega-3s in the blood stream had the slowest rates of telomeres shortening. Patients with low levels of omega- 3s had the fastest rates of telomere shortening.
Translation? Getting plenty of omega-3s slowed down the aging process in these heart patients.
In fact, I'm quite confident, you'd get the same results using healthy patients or even patients with other diseases, such as cancer.
So what's the bottom line for you?
It's pretty simple. Just get plenty of omega-3s into your diet.
The best way to do that is by taking a fish oil capsule. And be consistent. Take it every day. Just be sure to take extra selenium and 400 IU of natural mixed tocopherol-type vitamin E along with it for extra antioxidant protection.
Also, if you want to learn more about omega-3 fatty acids, you can always look through back issues of my Guide to Good Health. Just visit http://www.northstarnutritionals.com/article_list_all.php. Type "omega-3" into the KEYWORD search box and you'll find 13 important articles on the topic.