Aging Populations are on the Increase around the World
As the numbers of aging seniors increase around the globe together with an increase in chronic diseases, focus is switching from researching longevity to researching healthy aging. In other words, research will focus on what will help someone to live a long and healthy life without chronic physical and mental illnesses.
Omega 3 Fatty Acids Found in Sea Food Led to Healthy Aging
A study published October 17, 2018 in the BMJ shows that eating sea food and plants that contain high amounts of Omega 3 fatty acids, (circulating omega 3 polyunsaturated fatty acid (n3-PUFA) is associated with healthier aging in seniors. The researchers were led by Heidi Lai at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University, Boston.
The researchers define healthy aging as surviving without chronic diseases like heart disease, diabetes, chronic kidney disease, lung disease, cancer and also surviving without neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias. In other words, to live a long life in good mental and physical condition.
Cardiovascular Health Study: Prospective Cohort Study 1992-2015
The 5888 participants were seniors around age 75 from four American communities (Sacramento County, CA; Washington County, MD; Forsyth County, NC; and Pittsburgh, PA) and were in good health when the study began in 1992. Sixty-five percent of the participants were women.
Previous Studies Showed conflicting Results
Previous research that mainly relied on self-reported information about eating habits sometimes showed conflicting results. However, the researchers of the Cardiovascular Health Study did not rely only on self-reported data, but examinations and tests were carried out on the participants, as well as telephone interviews.
Participants Were Tested for the Following:
- Tests to measure the blood levels of 46 different types of circulating omega 3 fatty acids were carried out at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Centre Biomarker Laboratory in 1992-93, 1998-99 and 2005-06.
- Cumulative levels of plasma phospholipid n3-PUFAs were measured using gas chromatography in 1992-93, 1998-99, and 2005-06 for the total fatty acids derived from plants and from sea foods.
- Total body mass
- Waist measurement
- Physical activity
- Blood pressure
- C-reactive protein
- Low density lipoprotein (LDL cholesterol)
- High density lipoprotein (HDL cholesterol)
Results of the Cardiovascular Study
The results showed that 89% experienced unhealthy aging, while 11% experienced healthy aging. Higher levels of long chain n-3 PUFAs found abundantly in sea food were associated with an 18% lower risk for unhealthy aging. Results show that by helping to regulate blood pressure, heart rate and inflammation, the n-3 PUFAs promote healthy aging.
The participants who consumed the largest amounts of long chain n-3 PUFAs found in sea food tended to be educated women with a higher income, who lived a healthy lifestyle.
Short or Long-term Rehab and Skilled Nursing
If you or your loved one are in need of a skilled nursing or rehab facility, make sure they serve good nutritious food that includes sea food like fish.
Van Duyn Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing in Syracuse, New York
The Van Duyn Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing in Syracuse, New York has a skilled chef and offers healthy and tasty food. To read more about the wonderful amenities and recreational activities at Van Duyn see our blog post from May 30, 2018.
The researchers suggest that seniors should consume more sea food in order to increase the chance for healthy aging.