Omega-3 and muscle health

 
 
 

Skeletal muscle is highly adaptable to diet and physical activity levels. So, the response of skeletal muscle to exercise can be modified by the nutritional status. The amount and type of fat in the diet play an important role in regulating body metabolic health: saturated fatty acids have been linked with the development of metabolic dysfunction while some monounsaturated fatty acids and polyunsaturated fatty acids have positive effects on metabolic function. It is established that skeletal muscle is sensitive to changes in dietary fats, with a minimum of two-week alteration in dietary intake needed to significantly alter muscle composition. Recent human studies have demonstrated that omega-3 fatty acids of marine origin can influence the exercise and nutritional response of skeletal muscle. These studies show that the prior omega-3 status influences not only the metabolic response of muscle to nutrition, but also the functional response to a period of exercise training.

What is more, a sedentary lifestyle, muscle disuse due to illness, and the aging process are associated with severe skeletal muscle loss (which leads to frailty and reduced quality of life). But omega-3 supplementation has also been shown to mitigate the loss of skeletal muscle mass.

 

Bibliography

Jeromson S, Gallagher IJ, Galloway SD et al. Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Skeletal Muscle Health. Mar Drugs. 2015 Nov 19;13(11):6977-7004. doi: 10.3390/md13116977.