Telomeres within many different cells are known to shorten over time as a consequence of aging.
In this study, lengthening of telomeres in leukocytes (white blood cells involved in the immune response) was most noticeable in those who increased the omega-3 to 6 ratio the greatest.
"The telomere finding is provocative in that it suggests the possibility that a nutritional supplement might actually make a difference in aging," said the lead author of the study.
The research team added that supplementation with omega-3 also reduced oxidative stress by around 15% compared to the placebo group. This was measured by levels of compounds called F2-isoprostanes, which is linked to a number of conditions that include heart and neurodegenerative diseases.
Source: Omega-3 fatty acids, oxidative stress, and leukocyte telomere length: A randomized controlled trial