NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – Older women can strengthen muscles when combined with daily physical routine fish oil supplements.
In a small clinical trial, the authors looked at how 45 healthy women 60 years regained strength after three months of muscle training. Those who also ate fish oil, rose even more muscle strength.
However, it is unknown if this somehow changes the lives of women and, therefore, whether to assume the cost and potential adverse effects of the supplements.
Catherine Jackson, a professor of kinesiology at California State University in Fresno, said that the results are “curious” and deserve further investigation. “It would be careful with his performance,” said the specialist, who was not involved in the study.
The team of Luiz Claudio Fernandes, Federal University of Parana in Brazil, writes in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition: “Further studies on a larger sample and with other combinations of exercise and periods of use of supplements.”
WHAT IS THE EFFECT OF FISH OIL?
Fish oil, which is rich in omega 3 fatty acids, is known for its positive effects on heart health. Supplements can reduce triglycerides (a type of blood fat) and risk of coronary heart disease.
But there is also evidence that fish oil improves nerve function and muscle contraction. So, for the authors, would be “reasonable to believe” that fish oil may improve muscle response to strength training.
Then the team split into three groups of 45 older adults. In one, participants performed a routine muscle three times a week for three months, the other two groups did the same, but one took 2 grams per day of fish oil from the first day of the exercise program or two months before starting the program.
Muscle strength improved in all three groups, as revealed evidence of leg muscle contraction. But the change was even greater in the other two groups.
However, only women using fish oil had changes in neural activity of the muscles, although it is unknown what this all means for the welfare of women.
Participants performed four functional tests to determine the strength, balance, agility and the distance they could walk in 6 minutes. The users of fish oil had better performance on the test to be sitting and standing from a chair several times and as quickly as possible.
While fish oil is a safe supplement at recommended doses, can cause side effects, the most common is bad breath, heartburn, nausea and diarrhea.
Higher doses (3 grams per day or more), as reported by the National Institutes of Health, interfere with blood clotting and increase the risk of internal bleeding.
SOURCE: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition