Dr. Russell Blaylock, author of The Blaylock Wellness Report newsletter, is a nationally recognized board-certified neurosurgeon, health practitioner, author, and lecturer. He attended the Louisiana State University School of Medicine and completed his internship and neurological residency at the Medical University of South Carolina. For 26 years, practiced neurosurgery in addition to having a nutritional practice. He recently retired from his neurosurgical duties to devote his full attention to nutritional research. Dr. Blaylock has authored four books, Excitotoxins: The Taste That Kills, Health and Nutrition Secrets That Can Save Your Life, Natural Strategies for Cancer Patients, and his most recent work, Cellular and Molecular Biology of Autism Spectrum Disorders. Find out what others are saying about Dr. Blaylock by clicking here.

Omega-3 Prevents Cell Death

Thursday, 09 February 2012 08:27 AM

One of the biggest breakthroughs in the field of antiaging research was the finding that the length of our telomeres plays a significant role in aging and the risk of being frail and disabled with disease.

Telomeres are the part of the DNA sequence at the end of our chromosomes. Telomeres act like the plastic caps on your shoestrings; they keep DNA from unraveling — which causes cells to die early.

In one new study, it was shown that telomere length determined one’s risk of dying or being disabled by a heart attack. Those with longer telomeres at the beginning of the study lived longer than those with shorter ones. Researchers measured telomere length in 608 people who had cardiovascular disease, and followed them for five years to see how fast their telomeres eroded and how it was related to their intake of omega-3 oils. They chose omega-3 oils because these oils have a profound effect in reducing heart attack deaths, far greater than any statin drug.

The researchers discovered that those with the highest intake of omega-3 oils had the slowest erosion of their telomeres, which translated into less mortality and morbidity from cardiovascular disease. (My report "Stop Aging Naturally" gives more in-depth ways to slow the relentless march of time.)

Later, they adjusted the findings for other factors that might influence the outcome of the study, such as blood pressure, inflammatory markers, blood lipid profiles, and medications. The relation to omega-3 oils held up — that is, it was a real finding.

A number of supplements have been found to protect telomeres, including vitamin D-3, folic acid, flavonoids, and antioxidant minerals such as magnesium and selenium. Studies have shown that statin drugs have no effect on telomere length.

Omega-3 oils, such as DHA, have a number of beneficial antiaging effects, including reducing inflammation, preventing heart arrhythmias, improving blood flow, and reducing oxidative stress.

Some cells, such as stem cells, have an enzyme called telomerase that can rebuild a damaged telomere, extending the life of the cell. Until recently, it was thought that normal cells had little or no telomerase enzyme. But recent studies have shown that omega-3 oils can stimulate telomerase in even ordinary cells.

This would be bad if you had cancer, as cancer cells produce large amounts of the enzyme to extend their life spans. Yet this research also found that omega-3 oils suppressed the telomerase enzyme in cancer cells — which makes them die early.

Omega-3 actually helps kill cancer cells, but it also makes normal cells stronger. In addition, the study found that omega-3 greatly improved the outcome of cardiovascular patients. My special report "Omega 3: Nature’s Miracle Panacea" explains how omega-3 oils lower your risk of many diseases.

For more of Dr. Blaylock’s weekly tips, go here to view the archive

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