Fish Oil Boosts Muscle Strength when Combined with Training January 23, 2012
A new study shows that fish oil combined with strength training boosted muscle strength beyond the benefits of exercise alone. Researchers found strength training increased muscle strength in elderly women, but adding fish oils supplements caused even greater improvements in muscle strength and functional capacity.
The researchers believe that the omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil plays a role in the plasma membrane and cell function of muscles, which may enhance the benefits of training.
In this study, 45 women (aged 64 ± 1.4 y) were randomly assigned to three groups. One group performed strength training only for three months, whereas the others performed the same strength-training program and received 2 grams per day of fish oil supplementation for three months or for five months.
The peak torque and rate of torque development for all muscles (knee flexor and extensor, plantar and dorsiflexor) increased from pre- to post training in all groups. However, the researchers found that the effect was greater in the groups that supplemented with the fish oil.
As always, scientists are cautiously optimistic with the findings. “Other studies involving a larger sample and other combinations of training and supplementation period are required,” they write in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (Published Jan 4, 2012).