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Fish Oil Pills May Help Slow Age-Related Muscle Changes

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Supplements with omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid from fish may help slow the inevitable decline in muscle mass and strength that occurs with age, according to a recent small study.

For the research, 44 healthy men and women, between the ages of 60 and 85, were randomly assigned to take four 1-gram fish oil capsules or the same number of placebo capsules (which contained corn oil) daily for six months. Before and after treatment, participants were evaluated for muscle mass and strength.

At the end of the study, the fish oil group had significantly greater increases in thigh muscle size than the placebo group,as well as greater handgrip and lower- and upper-body strength. The fish oil group also tended to show more leg muscle power, as measured by knee bends and extensions. These findings may not apply to over-the-counter supplements; those used in the study were the prescription version called Lovaza. In addition, the study, published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, was small, so the findings need to be confirmed in a larger investigation.

In the meantime, one of the best ways to preserve muscle mass and strength—which is critical for preventing frailty, disability and loss of independence—is to perform muscle-strengthening, or resistance, exercises regularly. Also eat fatty fish, such as salmon and sardines—it’s good for your heart, and it may help your other muscles, too. 

 

Posted in Nutrition and Weight Control on December 24, 2015


Medical Disclaimer: This information is not intended to substitute for the advice of a physician. Click here for additional information: Health After 50 Disclaimer


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Health After 50 Alerts registered users may post comments and share experiences here at their own discretion. We regret that questions on individual health concerns to the editors cannot be answered in this space.

The views expressed here do not constitute medical advice, and do not represent the position of Scientific American Health After 50 or Remedy Health Media, LLC, which has no responsibility for any comments posted on this site.


I JUST STARTED TAKING A FISH OUIL SUPLEMENT 10 DAYS AGO, AND MY ARTHRITIS IN MY HANDS HAS DECREASED 50 % . I KNOW ITS NOT IN MY HEAD. USED TO BE REALLY BAD IN THE MORNING, NOW ITS QUITE TOLERABLE..

Posted by: pianolou | January 18, 2016 5:28 PM

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