A simpler way to stop the clock

Expensive creams and plastic surgery might promise the fountain of youth. But it looks like the real secret to staying young is a lot less glamorous.

As part of a recent study, researchers recruited 106 sedentary, overweight, middle-aged or older adults. All of these subjects were healthy. (Although in this case, “not sick” might be a better description.)

For four months, each subject took 2.5 grams of omega-3s, 1.5 grams of omega-3s, or a placebo. At the end of the trial, researchers observed a direct correlation between better omega-3 to omega-6 ratios and longer telomeres.

Telomeres are small segments of DNA that act as a buffer for your chromosomes. As your telomeres become shorter, your body’s cells eventually succumb to old age. And we all know what happens then.

Unless, of course, the process can be stopped. Or at least slowed down.

I’ve mentioned before how critical your ratio of omega-3s to omega-6s is… so this study’s results are hardly surprising. Diets that favor omega-6s too heavily–which characterizes the standard American diet these days–set the stage for increased inflammation.

Inflammation, in turn, paves the way to disease. And what is disease if not an accelerated form of aging? In fact, some might argue that aging itself is a disease.

But luckily, the antidote is simple: Get more omega-3s. Restoring your body’s fatty acid balance is one of the first steps to taking back your health. And as the results of this study show, it can slow down your biological clock in the process.

So take your fish oil–I recommend at least 3 grams of EPA and DHA–every day. It beats a shot of Botox, that’s for sure.

“New Drugs and Safety: What Happened to New Active Substances Approved in Canada Between 1995 and 2010?” Arch Int Med 2012; epub ahead of print 10/8