In a recent clinical trial, researchers from Ohio State University examined a number of other benefits related to healthy aging, namely, how omega-3s supplementation could benefit these aforementioned metrics even during and after a stressful event.
The randomized, controlled trial examined the impact of omega-3 supplementation on biomarkers related to cellular aging, following a test which simulated speech stressors, using the highest dose of omega-3s they’ve studied – 2.5 grams.
In total, 138 sedentary, overweight, middle aged participants (93 women and 45 men) received a daily dose of either 2.5 g of omega-3s, 1.25 g of omega-3s, or a placebo for four months. Before and after the trial period, participants underwent the Trier Social Stress Test, a reliably stress-inducing test in which subjects have to deliver a speech and solve math problems mentally in front of an audience. Before and after the test, blood and saliva samples were collected to measure salivary cortisol, telomerase, and both anti-inflammatory and pro-inflammatory cytokines.
The researchers saw significant differences from omega-3s supplementation, in a dose-dependent relationship. Both supplementation groups were protected from post-stress declines in mean telomere length (-24%), and anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10 levels (-26%). Before and after the test, the 2.5g/day supplementation group saw reductions of cortisol by 19% before the test, and 33% following the test, compared to the placebo group.
The authors of the study concluded that, as a result of the observed lowering levels of inflammatory markers and cortisol during stress (with boosted repair mechanisms during recovery) “omega-3 may slow accelerated aging and reduce depression risk.”