People with higher levels of omega-3 in their blood live an average of 2.2 years longer than those with lower levels, scientists have found.
This conclusion was drawn from a study of 2,700 U.S adults over a period of 16 years, as part of the on-going Cardiovascular Health Study (CHS).
Each participant was asked to give a blood sample and answer questions about their medical history, health and current lifestyle.
Tests showed that those who had higher levels of three different variations of omega-3 had greater protection against heart disease, stroke and heart attack.
The findings showed that:
- High levels of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) was linked with a 40% lower risk of death by coronary heart disease.
- High levels of docosapentaenoic acid (DPA) reduced the risk of death from stroke.
- High levels of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) was linked to a reduced risk of non-fatal heart attack.
The participants with the highest levels of all types of omega-3 had a 27% lower risk of dying from any of these causes.
Omega-3 is found in oily fish such as mackerel, salmon and tuna. It can also be found (albeit in smaller amounts) in walnuts, rapeseed oil and flaxseed.
The findings from this study were published online in the Annals of Internal Medicine.
To find out how a nutritionist might be able to help you adapt your diet to protect against problems with the circulatory system, please visit our Heart Disease page.
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