Omega-3 fatty acids, often found in fish oil supplements and other seafood, have long gotten the reputation for being beneficial to physical and mental health. Now, a brand new study shows just how crucial they are to your overall well-being — including your lifespan.
Research recently published in Nature Communications analyzed 17 different studies totaling almost 43,000 participants to take a closer look at the connection between omega-3 fatty acid consumption and risk of death. After digging into the data around these compounds and people’s lifestyles, scientists found that participants who regularly had higher levels of omega-3 components like EPA and DHA lived an average of 13 percent longer than those who included fewer omega-3 compounds in their diets.
On top of a lengthier lifespan, people who had more omega-3 fatty acids in their diets decreased their cancer risk by 15 percent and lowered their risk of cardiovascular disease by 11 percent.
The team behind the study hopes that their findings will make more people want to start enriching their diets with omega-3 fatty acids. “Since all of these analyses were statistically adjusted for multiple personal and medical factors, we believe that these are the strongest data published to date supporting the view that over the long-term, having higher blood omega-3 levels can help maintain better overall health,” explains Bill Harris, PhD, the paper’s lead author and the founder of the Fatty Acid Research Institute.
If all of that news didn’t make you want to run out and grab some fish oil supplements (Buy on Amazon, $9.14), another recent study published earlier this month found that omega-3 fatty acids play a critical role in preventing stress-induced signs of aging. A compound that protects against heart disease, cancer, shorter lifespans, and aging? Sounds it’s time to also eat some more seafood, nuts, and seeds. (Just make sure you talk to your doctor first before making any changes to your diet, like adding a new supplement!)