Researchers discovered that taking omega-3 supplements could improve muscle function in older women, preventing unnecessary falls and loss of independence later in life. The research team carried out an 18-week resistance exercise training plan, and measured participants’ muscle size, muscle function, and calculated muscle quality — which is force produced relative to muscle size — both before and after the program.
Results showed after 18 weeks that women (not men) who were taking 3g of fish oil supplements experienced increased muscle function, but not size, compared to the females in the placebo group. “With the percentage of people aged over 65 predicted to rise from 17 percent, of the total population in 2010, to 23 percent in 2035, it is crucial to develop effective treatments for the age-related loss of muscle function,” explained researcher Dr Stuart Gray, according to Medical XPress. “Findings of a benefit in women are particularly important as women tend to live around four years longer than men and cross the ‘disability threshold,’ where functional abilities are lost, 10 years earlier than men,” he said.