Fish oil supplementation is of great medical and public interest with epidemiological evidence of health benefits in humans, in particular by conferring protection against heart diseases. Its anti-inflammatory properties have also been reported. Initial results from short-lived mouse strains showed that fish oil can increase lifespan, affecting pathways like inflammation and oxidation thought to be involved in the regulation of aging. Could fish oil and its omega-3 fatty acids act as geroprotectors? Probably not. A new study by Strong et al. challenges the role for fish oil supplementation in aging. Using a large cohort of genetically heterogeneous mice in three sites, part of the Interventions Testing Program of the NIA, Strong et al. show that fish oil supplementation at either low or high dosages has no effect on the lifespan of male or female mice. Although it is still possible that fish oil supplementation has health benefits for specific age-related diseases, it does not appear to slow aging or have longevity benefits.
Keywords: fish oil; health; longevity; mice; omega-3 fatty acids.