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Fish oil could protect older adults from muscle degeneration

Fish oil could protect older adults from muscle degeneration
7th September 2012

Fish oil could have a protective effect against muscle degeneration among older adults, according to a study at the University of Aberdeen.

Identified as having significant health benefits for a long time, pilot data now suggests that fish can also help to maintain muscle size.

As people age muscles are reduced by approximately 0.5 to two per cent. This is known as sarcopenia and severely hinders mobility.

Researchers have now observed in a study of elderly women that after 12 weeks of resistance exercise training and taking fish oil supplement, muscle mass was increased by 20 per cent.

This is significantly greater than a placebo ground who did resistance training alone. After the trial period muscle size had only expanded by 11 per cent.

Dr Stuart Gray, from the University of Aberdeen’s Musculoskeletal Research Programme, announced that a further study will be conducted into this provisional data.

"We hope that providing new mechanistic insights into the benefits of fish oil on muscles could lead to the development of new pharmacological treatments to prevent against the loss of muscle with age," he said.

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