A low-fat source of quality protein, fish is considered an important part of a healthy diet. Fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, and herring are abundant in omega-3 fatty acids – for which mounting evidence suggests a diverse array of health effects. Stefan H. Heinemann, from Friedrich Schiller University Jena (Germany), and colleagues studied the molecular mechanisms that underlie the capacity for omega-3s to lower blood pressure. The team showed that the 'SLO1' potassium channel is an important component in the effectiveness of omega-3 fatty acids, acting like very specific receptors for omega-3 compounds such as docosahexaeonic acid (DHA).Employing a laboratory animal model, the researchers assessed the effects of omega-3 fatty acids on SLO1 channels of the cardiovascular system, finding that the administration of DHA resulted in an expansion of the blood vessels and consequently a drop in blood pressure. As well, in genetically modified mice however, which were not able to produce the SLO1 channel, the antihypertensive impact of DHA failed to appear.
Toshinori Hoshi, Bianka Wissuwa, Yutao Tian, Nobuyoshi Tajima, Rong Xu, Michael Bauer, Stefan H. Heinemann, Shangwei Hou. “Omega-3 fatty acids lower blood pressure by directly activating large-conductance Ca2+-dependent K+ channels.” PNAS, March 4, 2013. Toshinori Hoshi, Yutao Tian, Rong Xu, Stefan H. Heinemann, Shangwei Hou. “Mechanism of the modulation of BK potassium channel complexes with different auxiliary subunit compositions by the omega-3 fatty acid DHA.” PNAS, March 4, 2013.
A diet rich in fish-source omega-3 fatty acids exerts an antihypertensive effect.
Men and women ages 65+ could boost their cognitive function by learning to use Facebook.
Consumption of green tea may reduce a woman’s risk of developing breast cancer.
Resveratrol, an antioxidant substance found abundantly in red grapes and red wine, may have the potential to protect against hearing loss and cognitive decline.
A large study of 500,000 older adults followed for about 12 years reveals that as coffee drinking increases, the risk of death decreases.
Adolescents and young adults with a range of cardiometabolic risk factors have an increased risk of dying before they turn 55.
From Australia to Great Britain, researcher teams confirm that the more a person sits, the greater the risk of chronic diseases.
Individuals with shortened telomeres are at an increased risk of contracting colds, in a laboratory setting.
A Mediterranean-style diet may curtail the risks of heart attack, stroke, and cardiovascular-related death
Elevated levels of ozone and fine particulate matter in ambient air correlate to increased incidence of out-of-hospital cardiac arrests.
Vitamin D3 and omega-3 fatty acids may enhance the immune system's ability to clear the brain of the amyloid plaques characteristic of Alzheimer’s Disease.
Supplementation with omega-3 fatty acids may postpone the onset of metabolic disorders and associated declines in cognitive functions.
Review confirms the value of omega-3 fatty acids in reducing the risk of heart disease.
Increased consumption of DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), an omega-3 fatty acid, helps to lower the risk of anxiety.
Dietary supplementation of omega-3 fatty acids boosts working memory, among healthy young adults.
Increased dietary consumption of fish may lower stroke risk by up to 13%.
Dietary supplementation of omega-3 fatty acids may lengthen telomeres and reduce oxidative stress.
Consumption of chia seeds raises blood levels of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), among postmenopausal women.
A blend of choline, uridine, and docohexaenoic acid (DHA) serves as precursor to lipid molecules essential for forming and maintaining membranes of brain cells.
Omega-3 fatty acid supplements can lower inflammation in healthy, but overweight, middle-aged and older adults.
Tip #136 - Live Healthy, Live Longer
A number of studies validate lifestyle and other modifiable factors to promote a long and healthy lifespan:
• Cambridge University (United Kingdom) researchers report that healthy lifestyle choices can extend lifespan by 14 years. In a study of 20,000 men and women, ages 45 to 79, conducted for 13 years, Kay-Tee Khaw and colleagues found that those study subjects with the lowest number of healthy behaviors were four-times more likely to die, most notably from cardiovascular disease. Specifically, the team found that study participants with the lowest healthy lifestyle scores had the same risk of dying as someone with the highest healthy lifestyle scores who was 14 years older. The lifestyle change with the biggest benefit was smoking cessation, associated with an 80% improvement in lifespan. The second most significant change was increased consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables. Thirdly, moderate drinking; and fourthly, staying physically active, rounded out the four most beneficial lifestyle choices to extend lifespan.
• US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Atlanta, Georgia USA) researchers studied data collected on 23,153 German men and women, ages 35 to 65 years, who participated in the European Prospective Investigation Into Cancer and Nutrition-Potsdam study. The team found that four lifestyle factors -- namely never smoking, having a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or less, exercising 3.5 hours a week and eating a healthy diet – slashed the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer by a staggering 80%.
Lifestyle choices including not smoking, eating fresh foods, engaging in regular exercise, minimizing psychological stress, and drinking in moderation are basic tenets of the anti-aging lifestyle. By embracing these concepts, not only might we extend how long we may live, but how well. A prolonged healthspan -- the length of time that we are able to live productively and independently – is, in many ways, as important as an extended lifespan.