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Study Shows Benefits of a High Omega-3 Diet in Older Adults
Date:8/13/2008

High Omega-3 Fat Intake Improves Insulin Sensitivity and Reduces Inflammatory Markers, But Does Not Alter Endocrine Responsiveness

PHOENIX, Aug. 13 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A study conducted by Phoenix-based Kronos Longevity Research Institute (KLRI) found that a diet high in omega-3 fat improves insulin sensitivity and reduces inflammatory markers, but does not alter endocrine responsiveness. This study was recently published in Hormones and Metabolic Research.

"As we age, hormone secretion and cell responsiveness decrease, possibly due to loss of cell membrane fluidity or alteration of the membrane," said Dr. S. Mitchell Harman, MD, PhD, Director and President of Kronos Longevity Research Institute. "Animal studies have shown that omega-3 fatty acids may help hormone signals get into cells whose cell membrane has been stiffened by age."

Omega-3 fatty acids are polyunsaturated fatty acids found in certain natural foods, such as fish, especially salmon and tuna. They are known to help protect against heart disease. KLRI examined the effects of a diet high in omega-3 fatty acids on the loss of normal hormone balance that occurs during normal aging. KLRI recruited men and women over the age of 60 to investigate whether a high omega-3 fatty acid diet would improve their endocrine function.

"It is possible to achieve significant changes in the fat molecules in cell membranes after relatively short periods of changes in one's diet," said Panayiotis D. Tsitouras, MD, Clinical Director at KLRI. "We wanted to see if we could improve mental function, hormone levels at rest and/or under stress, and immune function, toward a pattern more like that of younger individuals."

In this study, all participants were given a conventional Western diet with defined fat and daily intake of olive/corn oil mix for six weeks. For the next eight weeks, participants were placed on a high omega-3 content fish diet with additional supplementation of fi
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SOURCE Kronos Longevity Research Institute
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