A recent study funded by a grant from the National Institutes of Health showed that the majority of overweight but healthy adults who took omega-3 supplements for four months preserved tiny segments of DNA in their white blood cells. These segments, called telomeres, are known to shorten over time in many types of cells as a result of aging. In the study, lengthening of telomeres in cells was seen in people who substantially improved the ratio of omega-3s to other fatty acids in their diet. This suggests that the aging process was slowed. Omega-3 supplementation also reduced oxidative stress, caused by excessive free radicals in the body, by about 15 percent compared to effects seen in the placebo group. Another publication from this study reported that omega-3 fatty acid supplements lowered inflammation in this same group of adults. Study participants took either 2.5 grams or 1.25 grams of active omega-3 fatty acids. The researchers say this combination of effects suggests that omega-3 supplements could represent a rare single nutritional intervention that has potential to lower the risk for a host of diseases associated with aging, such as coronary heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, arthritis and Alzheimer's disease. Critical to the research was the ratio of omega-6 fatty acids to omega-3 fatty acids that are present in a person's body. Omega-6 fatty acids come from vegetable oils and research has suggested that these oils can help protect the cardiovascular system. However, current research shows the typical American diet tends to be too heavy on omega-6 fatty acids and low in omega-3s. While the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids averages about 15-to-1, researchers tend to agree that for maximum benefit, this ratio should be lowered to 4-to-1, or even 2-to-1. It is also thought that the long chain molecules make up EPA and DHA fatty acids are thought to be the key to their effectiveness. So if you are looking for the fountain of youth, try a krill oil that is loaded with Omega-3 fatty acids. Yours in good health, Linda Hlivka Clinical Nutritionist