According to a recent study published in the journal, The BMJ, there was a link found between high consumption of omega-3-rich seafood and healthy ageing. In the study, higher blood levels of omega-3 fatty acids in seafood were associated with higher chances of healthy ageing among older adults. Healthy ageing refers to a lifespan with good physical and mental health and without major chronic diseases. With changing lifestyles, a lot of chronic diseases are taking a toll on many people's health. Hence, the issue of healthy ageing holds utmost importance.
The study was conducted on 2,622 adults who were enrolled in the United States Cardiovascular Health Study. To investigate the association between omega 3 fatty acids in seafood and healthy ageing, the researchers examined the circulating blood levels of omega-3 fatty acids of the participants. Average age of participants at the start of the study was 74 years. The omega-3 levels of the participants were then measured 6 years later and 13 years later. The types of omega-3s considered in the study were eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), docosapentaenoic acid (DPA), and alpha-linolenic acid (ALA).
As per the findings of the study, 89% of the participants experienced unhealthy ageing, which included age-related chronic diseases or mental or physical dysfunction; whereas, 11% experienced healthy ageing. For the study, the blood levels of omega-3s of participants were divided into five groups. The researchers of the study analysed that people in the highest seafood-derived DPA consumption group were 24 per cent less likely to age unhealthily than those who consumed the least; wereas, the participants in the top three DPA-consuming groups were 18-21 per cent less likely to experience the same.
The researchers concluded by saying that this was an observational study. Hence, no firm conclusions can be drawn about cause and effect. Other than this, there might be a possibility that some of the observed risk could be due to unmeasured factors.
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