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08.08.2022


Combination of strength training with fish oil supplementation keeps aging muscles strong

If you are experiencing muscle loss due to aging, strength training is an effective means of stopping and even reversing this process. Fish oil can enhance this protective effect of strength training. The supplement augments the increase in muscle strength from strength training.


Combination of strength training with fish oil supplementation keeps aging muscles strong


Study
Brazilian researchers at the University of Sao Paulo got 34 women with sarcopenia to do strength training for 14 weeks. Sarcopenia is a medical term for incapacitating muscle weakness due to aging.

The women trained 3 times a week. They only trained their leg muscles with exercises such as the leg extension, the leg press, the leg curl, the hip abduction and the hip adduction.

The women performed 3 sets of 12 reps for each exercise. The women rested for 1 minute between sets.

Half of the women took a placebo every day during the trial. This was the control group [EP]. The other half took 4 grams of fish oil [EFO] daily.

Results
Quadriceps muscle size increased a little more in the fish oil group than in the other group, but this difference was not statistically significant.


Combination of strength training with fish oil supplementation keeps aging muscles strong


Supplementation with fish oil did ensure that women functioned better physically. When the researchers looked at how many meters they could walk for 6 minutes before and after the supplementation period, they saw a greater increase in the supplementation group.

The maximum strength [actually: the torque] that the women could develop during a leg extension also increased more in the supplementation group than in the group that had trained but had not received fish oil.

Click on the table below for a larger version.


Combination of strength training with fish oil supplementation keeps aging muscles strong


Conclusion
Fish oil apparently enhances the neuromuscular effects of strength training in people with sarcopenia. The control of the muscles improves, and thus the muscles become stronger and the daily functioning of the women improves.

"Omega-3 fatty acid supplementation may provide a safe, simple solution and low cost intervention to counteract muscle loss and its complications in conditions associated with sarcopenia", write the Brazilians.

"Furthermore, resistance training remains the key element for increasing strength and muscle mass in the sarcopenic elderly."

Source:
Nutrients. 2022 Jul 11;14(14):2844.

More:
Fish oil helps over 65s' muscles respond better to strength training 02.06.2017
Seniors who take fish oil supplements react better to strength training 20.02.2012
Medical study: protein builds more muscle mass with fish oil 10.05.2010

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