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Circulation: Omega-3s and selenium extend life

Omega-3s and selenium extend life

  • Omega-3s reduced low-grade chronic inflammation

Doctors wanted to see if low-grade, chronic inflammation, known as “subclinical” inflammation (SI), raised chances for heart and circulatory events in older, otherwise healthy adults. In this study, doctors measured omega-3s in the diets of 4,804 men and women, aged at least 60, whose levels of the inflammatory factor—high-sensitivity C-reactive protein—ranged between 3 and 10 mg per liter of blood (mg/L). Chances for heart and circulatory events increase at these levels, according to the American Heart Association and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.

Doctors divided participants into four groups: those with circulating omega-3 levels below 0.3 percent; from 0.3 to below 0.6 percent; from 0.6 to 0.9 percent, and 1.0 percent or above. For men and women, the tendency to have SI began as omega-3 levels fell below 0.8 percent, with chances for SI decreasing as levels of omega-3s increased.

Reference: Nutrients; 2021, Vol. 13, No. 2, 338

  • Selenium improved longevity in type 2 diabetes

Selenium is a component of proteins that help synthesize DNA and protect from oxidative damage and infection, among other essential functions. In this study, doctors measured selenium in 3,199 participants with type 2 diabetes and followed up for an average of 12.6 years. Selenium levels were between 89 and 182 mcg per liter of blood.

Overall, as levels of selenium increased, chances for dying from any cause decreased, including heart disease, with those with the highest selenium levels 64 percent less likely to die compared to those with the lowest levels.

Reference: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition; 2022, Vol. 115, No. 1, 53-60

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