Fish Oil and Resistance Training May Help Protect Against Age-Related Muscle Loss
Many people begin to lose muscle mass and muscle strength after the age of 50. Previous research suggests that resistance exercises such as weightlifting and pulling against resistance bands may help increase muscle mass and strength. Now a new study has found that fish oil supplementation combined with resistance exercise may help increase muscle mass and improve muscle strength in mature women better than resistance exercise alone.
34 women over the age of 65 participated in the study. All were experiencing age-associated muscle mass and muscle strength loss. They were given 4 grams of fish oil supplements or a placebo daily for 14 weeks. All of them participated in a resistance exercise program.
The researchers used MRI to measure the quadricep muscle at baseline and at the end of the study period. They also used isokinetic dynamometry to measure lower limb strength at baseline and the end of the study.
Participants in the fish oil group saw greater increases in muscle mass compared to the placebo group. They saw a 6.11% in quadricep muscle mass compared to a 2.91^% increase in the placebo group.
The fish oil participants also saw greater increases in muscle strength in the quadricep muscle compared to the placebo group. Specifically, the fish oil group averaged a peak torque of 19.46 Nm compared to 5.74 Nm in the placebo group. Peak torque is a value used in evaluating muscle strength.
The study was conducted by researchers from the University of São Paulo. It was published online ahead of print on July 11, 2022 in the journal Nutrients.
In a previous study, spinach extract was found to help improve muscle strength.