It’s not very often that you hear the words “fat” and “live to 100” in the same sentence. But researchers at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute at the University of Colorado think omega-6 fatty acids play a big role in extending the length of your life. And let’s face it, given the choice to have either a shorter or a longer life, most of us would pick the latter. Life is already finite—we’re all assured of dying at some point—so why not live as long as you can!
What is it about omega-6 fatty acids that can help your body to keep going, right through your senior years? According to the Colorado research team, it all has to do with a process called “autophagy.” Unfamiliar with the phrase? Autophagy is something that happens in your cells. Basically, when a cell becomes unnecessary or dysfunctional, autophagy kicks in and one of two things happen: 1) a redundant cell is broken down and its components are recycled to use elsewhere; or 2) as is the case with dysfunctional cells, autophagy breaks the cell down completely so that it isn’t able to cause any problems inside your body.
PLUS: Omega-3 health benefits.
Now, back to the study where the researchers uncovered some amazing news about omega-6 fatty acids. Not only do these fatty acids play a very important role in energy storage, but it’s now clear that they also help trigger autophagy, helping to lengthen your life span.
Make sure you get some healthy omega-6 fatty acids into your diet if you want to live a long and productive life. One note of caution: make sure you balance your intake of omega-6s with omega-3 fatty acids.
Sources for Today’s Articles:
A Fat That Makes You Live Longer?
Han, M., et al., “Fat chance for longevity,” Genes Dev. February 15, 2013; 27(4): 351–4.