A recent study from the University of California has found that patients who have coronary heart disease with high blood levels of omega-3 fatty acids may age more slowly than those with the lowest levels of the compound.
Researchers found that patients with cardiovascular disease who had a high intake of omega-3s had slower shrinking telomeres, which are structures at the end of a chromosome that get shorter with time, making them an indicator of biological age, according to Health Day.
"What [researchers are] really saying is that there is quite an impact of omega-3s on cell support and cell functioning," said Suzanne Steinbaum, spokeswoman for the American Heart Association.
"If you supplement with omega-3s or eat omega-3s, your cells stay healthier, your cells age less quickly," she added.
In a previous study, the research team found that shortened telomeres were a strong predicator of death and other negative outcomes related to coronary heart disease.
Lead author Ramin Farzaneh-Far added that omega-3s are only one of the factors involved in the shortening of telomeres. Many other health issues, including oxidative stress, also play a role.