Deep Dive Vitality: Omega-3s and Selenium Extend Life

Deep Dive Vitality: Omega-3s and Selenium Extend Life

According to the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, omega-3 fats are part of cell membranes throughout the body. They affect the health of the receptors on cell walls that make it possible for cells to communicate with each other. “They provide the starting point for making hormones that regulate blood clotting, contraction and relaxation of artery walls, and inflammation,” the Nutrition Source explains. “They also bind to receptors in cells that regulate genetic function. Likely due to these effects, omega-3 fats have been shown to help prevent heart disease and stroke, may help control lupus, eczema, and rheumatoid arthritis, and may play protective roles in cancer and other conditions.”1

In these studies, not only did omega-3s show promise in longevity, likewise the super antioxidant selenium shows promising support, especially for those dealing with type 2 diabetes.

Omega-3s reduced low-grade chronic inflammation

Doctors wanted to see if low-grade, chronic inflammation, known as “subclinical” inflammation (SI), raised chances for heart and circulatory events in older, otherwise healthy adults. In this study, doctors measured omega-3s in the diets of 4,804 men and women, aged at least 60, whose levels of the inflammatory factor—high-sensitivity C-reactive protein—ranged between 3 and 10 mg per liter of blood (mg/L). Chances for heart and circulatory events increase at these levels, according to the American Heart Association and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.

Doctors divided participants into four groups: those with circulating omega-3 levels below 0.3 percent; from 0.3 to below 0.6 percent; from 0.6 to 0.9 percent, and 1.0 percent or above. For men and women, the tendency to have SI began as omega-3 levels fell below 0.8 percent, with chances for SI decreasing as levels of omega-3s increased.

Reference: Nutrients; 2021, Vol. 13, No. 2, 338

Live with Omega-3

Many studies have found omega-3 health benefits, but this is among the first on lifespan. The largest to date, doctors combined data from 17 long-term studies following 42,466 people an average of 16 years.

Using the new Omega-3 Index, doctors found those in the 90th omega-3 percentile—about 7.6 percent in circulation compared to 3.5 percent in the 10th percentile—were on average about 13 percent less likely to have died from heart or circulatory diseases, cancer, or from all other causes combined.

The Omega-3 Index is a more precise measure of omega-3 levels than “diet record” studies that can only estimate EPA and DHA.

Reference: Nature Communications; 2021, Vol. 12, Article No. 2329, Published Online

Selenium improved longevity in type 2 diabetes

Selenium is a component of  proteins that help synthesize DNA and protect from oxidative damage and infection, among other essential functions. In this study, doctors measured selenium in 3,199 participants with type 2 diabetes, and followed up for an average of 12.6 years. Selenium levels were between 89 and 182 mcg per liter of blood.

Overall, as levels of selenium increased, chances for dying from any cause decreased, including heart disease, with those with the highest selenium levels 64 percent less likely to die compared to those with the lowest levels.

Reference: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition; 2022, Vol. 115, No. 1, 53-60

1 The Nutrition Source. Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Accessed 26-10-2022.

BetsyHealth Note: This article is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent or cure any disease. Consult your healthcare provider before trying a supplement, especially if you have a medical condition, including being pregnant or nursing, take prescription or over-the-counter medications, or are planning on having surgery.

Article copyright 2022 by Natural Insights for Well Being. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

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