Study suggests not eating oily fish regularly may shorten life expectancy
- A lack of omega-3s in the diet may shorten life even more than smoking, says research
- Scientists find that low levels of fatty acids can shorten expectancy by up to 5 years
- The oil found in oily fish is considered good for the heart and reduces blood clots.
- A good level is 8% or higher, while an intermediate is between 4% and 8%.
A lack of omega-3 oils in the diet may shorten life even more than smoking, new research warns.
The scientists found that smoking reduced life expectancy by four years, while low levels of fatty acids — found in oily fish such as salmon and mackerel — could shorten it by five years.
The oil is considered good for the heart and reduces blood clots.
A good level is eight percent or more, intermediate is between four and eight percent and a low is four percent or less.
Study lead researcher Dr Michael McBurney, from the University of Guelph in Canada, said: ‘It is interesting to note that in Japan, where the average omega-3 index is over eight percent, the expected life span is about five years longer. Compared to it in the United States, where the average omega-3 index is about five percent.
‘Therefore, in practice, dietary choices that alter the omega-3 index may prolong life.
Scientists found that smoking shortened life expectancy by four years, while low levels of omega-3, a fatty acid found in oily fish such as salmon and mackerel (pictured), can shorten it by up to five years.
‘In the final combined model, smoking and omega-3 index appear to be the most easily modifiable risk factors.
‘Being a current smoker, at age 65, is predicted to reduce life expectancy by more than four years, compared to a non-smoker, the equivalent of having a high omega-3 index versus a low one. Life is short.
The study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, used data from the Framingham Heart Study (FHS), one of the longest-running studies in the world.
The FHS provided unique insights into heart disease risk factors and the development of the Framingham risk score based on eight baseline standard risk factors – age, gender, smoking, hypertension treatment, diabetes status, systolic blood pressure, total cholesterol (TC). led. and HDL cholesterol.
Researchers in the study found that measuring fatty acids could predict mortality similarly to standard risk factors.
Co-author Dr Bill Harris, President of the Fatty Acid Research Institute, said: ‘The information provided in the concentrations of the four red blood cell fatty acids was just as useful as it was for lipid levels, blood pressure, smoking and diabetes status. With respect to the prediction of total mortality.
The oil is considered good for the heart and reduces blood clots. A good level is eight percent or more, intermediate is between four and eight percent and low is four percent and below (pictured: Some sources of omega-3 acids, file photo)
‘This speaks to the power of the omega-3 index as a risk factor and should be considered as important as other established risk factors, and perhaps even more so.’
The risk can be reduced by changing factors such as diet, tobacco, alcohol and physical inactivity.
Researchers in the study found that lifestyle choices can help identify people at risk.
It may also be useful for preventing ill health, delaying death, and assessing treatment outlook.
A previous 2018 report of 2,500 participants in the Framingham Offspring Cohort found that individuals with a higher omega-3 index were 33 percent less likely to die.
Similar connections have been found in the Women’s Health Initiative Memory Study, the Heart and Soul Study and the Ludwigshafen Risk and Cardiovascular Health Study.