Fish Oil May Improve Muscle Strength in Mature Adults
Aging reduces the size of muscles by approximately 0.5 to 2% a year. British researchers conducted a pilot study to determine the effect of fish oil on muscle strength, and found that omega-3 essential fatty-acids may result in increased muscle strength in mature adults.
For the study, participants completed resistance exercise training for 12 weeks. Half of the group took a fish oil supplement and half took a placebo. At the conclusion of the study, the researchers noted a 20% improvement in muscle strength in the fish oil group and an 11% improvement in the placebo group.
For their next step, the researchers plan on conducting an 18 week program with the same amount of fish oil supplementation.
The study was conducted by researchers at the University of Aberdeen and presented at the British Science Festival, which took place the week of September 4, 2012.
In addition to improving muscle strength, omega-3s have been shown to improve inflammation, mood, joint mobility, age related macular degeneration, and the immune system.
Because omega-3 fatty-acids are not found naturally in the human body, it is especially important to make sure that they are a part of your daily diet. Oily, dark fish such as tuna and salmon are high in DHA and EPA omega-3s, while ALA omega-3 fatty-acids are plant derived and can be found in flaxseed oil, vegetable oil, and walnuts.
If you don’t like fish or you’re worried about the high mercury levels found in some fish, consider taking a high quality supplement that has been tested for purity and potency.