A recent small clinical study suggests that older women who continue to exercise are encouraged to add fish oil to their diet.
Three months of exercise increased muscle strength in 45 healthy women in their 60s. Those who ate fish oil showed the best results.
True, it is not yet clear what is the meaning of an increase in physical strength in an elderly woman’s life, and, accordingly, whether it is worth the cost of buying capsules containing fish oil.
Dr. Catherine Jackson, a professor of kinesiology at the University of California, who was not involved in the study, called the results of the experiment intriguing and worthy of further study.
Fish oil is essential for a healthy heart
At the same time, she cautions readers to jump to conclusions, as the experiment needs to be continued with a large number of subjects and compare fish oil with other dietary supplements.
In this opinion, other specialists and the researchers themselves agree with her.
Fish oil is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are known for their beneficial effects on the heart.
In addition, this simple dietary supplement improves the transmission of nerve impulses to the muscles and the hypothesis that exercises in combination with the use of fish oil seem to be very reasonable.
To explore this issue, the researchers randomly divided 45 older women into 3 groups. Participants of the first group performed a set of physical exercises three times a week for two months.
The other two groups did the same, plus each woman took 2 grams of fish oil per day. It was suggested to start using it simultaneously with the first day of performing the set of exercises, or 2 months before that.
Changes in nerve activity associated with fish oil consumption
The leg muscle contractility test showed that all subjects increased their muscle strength. But in the two groups that consumed fish oil, these changes were significantly higher.
The conductivity of the nervous tissue increased only in those participants of the experiment who consumed fish oil.
As stated above, the full implications of these improvements for a woman’s life are not yet fully understood.
One researcher complained about the inaccuracy of muscle strength measurements, which varied widely among the participants.
Four functional tests were used, measuring strength, agility, balance, and six minutes of walking.
Women who took fish oil showed a slight improvement in the results of a test in which they were asked to sit up and get out of a chair as quickly as they could.
Fish oil slows down the rate of blood clotting
Some researchers attribute the improvement in performance to the fact that fish oil made up for the existing lack of omega-3-unsaturated fatty acids in the diet of these women.
At the same time, excessive consumption of fish oil can cause side effects – heartburn, nausea, bad breath, loose stools. When consumed more than 3 grams per day, fish oil interferes with normal blood clotting.