People with a lot of DHA in their blood live longer
The more of the omega-3 fatty acid DHA is present in the blood of people over 60, the longer they live. Japanese epidemiologists affiliated with the National Center for Geriatrics and Gerontology, discovered this. They published their findings in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.
The researchers used data that their institute had collected in the Longitudinal Study of Aging. This project started in 1997 and continued until 2017. When the Longitudinal Study of Aging took off, the 520 male and 534 female participants were 60-79 years old. The researchers were able to follow the average study participant for 12 years.
40.4 percent of the study participants died during the study, mainly as a result of cardiovascular disease and cancer.
The mortality probability of the study participants was significantly lower as they had more DHA in their blood.
There was also a trend that a high concentration of the omega-3 fatty acid EPA reduced the risk of death, but this trend was not statistically significant.
The researchers also looked at the omega-6 fatty acid arachidonic acid. The concentration of that fatty acid in the blood did not correlate with the risk of death.
"These results suggest the beneficial effect of higher DHA levels on all-cause mortality in Japanese older persons whose DHA and EPA intake/serum DHA and EPA levels are higher than those of Western people," the researchers summarize.
Almost forgot. The study participants mainly obtained their DHA from fatty fish, but there are now also products with DHA from algae on the market. You can read more about that here.
Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2019 May 21;16(10).
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