Me & Latia

Me & Latia
Partners @ Attitude = Performance

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Could Omega-3's Be Our "Fountain Of Youth?"

The DNA in our cells is coded with a life span. At the ends of each chromosome lies something called a ‘telomere’. Telomeres protect chromosomes and prevent them from fusing into rings or binding with other DNA. Think of telomeres as being kind of like the little hard plastic ends on the ends of shoelaces. They keep the laces from coming undone. Telomeres do a similar thing with your chromosomes.

When a cell divides, as they do thousands of times every day, strands of DNA get snipped to in the process. The places that are snipped are the telomeres. These telomeres get shorter and shorter with each cell division. Eventually the telomere gets too short, and the DNA becomes damaged, putting a halt to the cell’s ability to reproduce. This is when the cell dies, and where aging occurs.
Telomere length is an important marker of true biological age that accurately predicts illness and lifespan in many areas of health. The rate at which this happens varies greatly among individual people and cells. This is why some people may look and act older and may be more susceptible to age related disease than others.

How does this affect aging in our bodies?

Scientists can actually determine a cell's age and can estimate how many more times it may replicate by studying the length of the telomeres in a person. Telomeres may be one of the keys to aging.
Omega 3 Fats vs. Omega 6 Fats, It’s All About the Ratio

Recent scientific research shows omega 3 fats can actually slow down the rate at which telomeres on chromosomes shorten. The latest study conducted by scientists at Ohio State University (2012); on omega 3’s and their effect on telomeres appeared in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

The study showed that those that had the highest levels of omega 3 fatty acids also had the slowest rates of telomere shortening over 5 years. And the patients with the lowest levels of omega 3’s had fastest rate of telomere shortening.

What’s more, taking omega 3 supplements actually lengthened the telomeres in the participants’ DNA.

In other words, those with the highest levels of omega 3 fats aged much more slowly. Supplementing with omega 3 fatty acids also was also found to reduce the oxidative stress from free radicals—which is another reason for accelerated aging. And omega 3 fatty acids also lowered inflammation in this same study group.

As you already know, inflammation and oxidation are key to the beginnings of many chronic health conditions and is thought to be one of the reasons for advanced aging. Obviously anything that reduces inflammation has anti-aging benefits as well.

Omega 3 fatty acids have a very long list of health benefits including: preventing heart disease, protecting the immune system, helping weight loss, keeping skin smooth and preventing wrinkles, improving mental health, preventing cancer, and fighting overall inflammation.

By contrast, another study showed that the TYPE of fat eaten can shorten telomeres and accelerate aging. One of the worst types of fat appears to be omega-6 fats, not saturated fat, as the medical community would have us believe. The study also showed that the amount of food eaten also had a significant effect on telomeres. Those who ate the most food had shorter telomeres.

Omega-6 fatty acids have taken over processed foods. Omega-6 fatty acids come primarily from grains and processed vegetable oils. Meat, chicken and farmed fish are raised on grain, making these foods high in omega 6 fatty acids as well.

Omega-6 fats are one type of polyunsaturated fats, which are the most reactive type of fats to heat and light. This leaves them more prone to oxidation and free radical production. Omega-6 fats then become highly inflammatory in our bodies because of this.

Omega 6 fats are in potato chips, corn chips, french fries, bottled salad dressings, corn oil, soy oil, and other vegetable oils. Most anything you purchase pre-made from the grocery store has this type of fat in it.

Our primal ancestors ate a diet much higher in omega 3 fats from wild caught fish, grass fed meat and dairy, and wild game. The omega 6 to omega 3 ratio many years ago was around 2 to 1. Today a typical modern diet in America or other westernized countries has about 20 times more omega 6 fats than omega 3 fats!

This unnatural balance of essential fatty acids causes excess inflammation and negative health effects. According to this study, eating excessive amounts of omega 6 fats appears to be one of the fastest ways to accelerate aging.

Eating more foods containing omega 3 fats will help fight aging internally and externally.
Studies also show proof that the types of fat you eat can actually determine whether you have more wrinkly, saggy skin or softer smoother skin—even as you get older. While some wrinkles seem to be an inevitable sign of aging, and accumulated sun damage, diet may be a key as to whether your skin will stay softer and smoother or look wrinkled and dry as you age.

A diet higher in omega 6 fats causes worse sunburns, and contributes to more skin damage from the sun (wrinkling) and is more likely to lead to skin cancer as well.

Omega 3 fatty acids prevent and reduce the damaging effects of the sun, and help the body prevent and fight off skin cancer from sun exposure. People who eat a diet higher in saturated fats and omega-3 fats have smoother, healthier skin, and younger, healthier bodies overall.

Other Anti-Aging Fats...

Contrary to current medical opinion and what you hear in the news, saturated fats can be very good for you (from natural sources), and not only necessary for important healthy physical function and hormone production, but for the brain and nerves as well.

In spite of what you may have heard about saturated fat, it can certainly be a healthy part of your diet if from the right sources. Although often shunned as an unhealthy fat, saturated fats are important for hormone production, cell membranes, your immune system, and more. The best types of saturated fats include virgin coconut oil (the best source of healthy MCT fats), fat from grass fed animals, butter (grass fed is best) and in terms of cooking oils, even lard is a healthier choice than polyunsaturated oils like soy or corn oil.

Our brain and nervous system is made of saturated fats and getting this fat in our diets is important for proper brain function as we age. Saturated fats also make up the surface of our lungs, making for easier breathing. Saturated fats actually help to strengthen the immune system, protecting us as we age from infectious diseases and cancer. Saturated fats are also important to cell membranes, giving them their necessary strength and integrity, while maintaining the flexibility they need. In other words, saturated fats are vital to every cell in our body, making them vital to protecting every body system as we age.

Some of the other ways eating a diet rich in saturated fats combats aging: Saturated fats are necessary for proper utilization of other essential fatty acids. The body retains omega 3 fatty acids better when the diet is rich in saturated fats.

• Saturated fats protect the bones by helping to calcium be utilized in the bones where it is needed for bone strength, making saturated fats important guardians against osteoporosis.
• Saturated fats protect the liver from toxins such as medications, alcohol and environmental toxins.
• Saturated fats lower a substance in the blood called Lp(a), or Lipoprotein(a), that indicates a potential for heart disease.
• Short- and medium-chain saturated fats have important antimicrobial properties. They protect us against harmful microorganisms in the body.
Saturated fats also help us look younger on the outside as well, by helping the skin to stay soft and smooth. People who eat diets rich in omega 3 and saturated fats have much smoother, less wrinkled skin than those who eat predominately omega 6 fats.

One of the best, anti-aging saturated fats is a saturated fat that comes from coconut oil.
Coconut oil is composed predominately of medium-chain fatty acids (MCFA). Fat molecules come in different sizes, and that size makes difference in how the fat is utilized. Fats are made up of Long Chain Fatty Acids (LCFA), Medium Chain Fatty Acids (MCFA), or Short Chain Fatty Acids (SCFA).
The majority of fats and oils in our diets, whether they are saturated, monounsaturated, unsaturated, or come from animals or plants, are composed of long-chain fatty acids (LCFA). Some 98 to 100% of all the fatty acids you consume are LCFA.

Coconut oil contains the most concentrated natural source of MCFA available in our diet. Because our bodies process MCFA’s differently, the effects of coconut oil are uniquely different from those of other oils.

Coconut oil is actually used to help treat health issues including weight loss, skin conditions, allergies, inflammation, Alzheimer’s, dementia, and strengthening the immune system.

Scientific studies have shown that coconut oil also has anti-microbial, anti-fungal, and anti-viral properties and is effective against candida, measles, giardia, listeria, (common food-poisoning pathogens), staph, and heliobacter pylori (bacteria responsible for stomach ulcers) and is even being used and researched to help support the health and immune systems of HIV/AIDS patients.

Virgin coconut oil actually has a beneficial effect in lowering total cholesterol, triglycerides, and low-density lipoproteins (LDL-the bad cholesterol) and so is good for the blood vessels and the heart.
Compared to carbohydrates, medium-chain triglycerides are a better and more efficient source of quick energy. Most oils, are broken down into fatty acids that circulate through your body after you eat them, and hungry fat cells in our bodies readily store these as fat. MCFA’s also have muscle-sparing effects. As a result, they can help build lean muscle, which also helps control your metabolism to stay lean.

Researchers are now looking into the exciting possibility of using coconut oil as a treatment not only for Alzheimer’s disease but also for Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, multiple sclerosis and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease), drug resistant epilepsy, and diabetes.
Obviously this saturated fat has great anti-aging properties, as you can see.

The most important change you can make in your diet is to replace all the refined vegetable oils (soybean oil, corn oil, safflower oil, sunflower oil, etc.), margarine, shortening, or hydrogenated oils you may be currently using in your food preparation with healthy saturated fats including virgin coconut oil, grass-fed butter, and extra virgin olive oil.

The Best Anti-Aging Fats:

Omega 3 Fats
Grass fed meats: beef, lamb, goat, bison, etc
Pasture raised chicken and eggs
Grass fed dairy
Hemp seeds
Chia seeds
Flax seeds
Monounsaturated Fats
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Olives (black and green)
Saturated Fats
Lard (from pasture raised animals)
Virgin coconut oil
Grass fed beef fat
Butter and cheese from grass fed cows

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