Fish Oil Increases Muscle Strength

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People take omega-3 fish oil for a number of reasons extending far beyond heart health; although heart benefits are the number one reason. Because of the rich diversity of science behind omega-3 fish oils, researchers have uncovered—and continue to uncover almost daily—new uses and applications for this amazing nutrient. I recently blogged about a less-commonly reported benefit: improved muscle function in elderly women.

A recent study presented at the British Science Festival is taking these benefits even further. The pilot study found that people taking fish oil improved muscle strength by 20 percent over 12 weeks when compared to those people taking placebo, who experienced an 11 percent increase.

The pilot study will lead to further research that will look at the effects of fish oil supplementation on muscle strength and other health measures in men and women over age 65. “We will monitor changes in muscle mass, volume, and fat content in the participants using MRI; insulin sensitivity and inflammation in blood samples; and changes in protein synthesis and molecular signaling in muscle biopsies,” noted Stuart Gray, lead researcher.

Muscle loss that comes with age, also known as sarcopenia, can be a significant hindrance to health as people get older. Muscles naturally decrease in size by about 0.5 and 2 percent each year, and it becomes more difficult to increase muscle mass with exercise alone as we age. I’ll report when I hear of more research for muscle health in old age. In the meantime, keep exercising and taking your fish oil.


  • Joan Halgren

    Brenda: Your news was fabulous on the PBS’s show! It has renewed my spirit.

    I was raking leaves yesterday and my body felt terrible, fragile, and weak.

    I thought I was taking the right amount of Omega 3 fatty acids; then, checked the label per your advice and discovered I was horribly deficient by about two-thirds the required amount! So I’m on the right track today and so thankful for your precise education–you do get to the heart of the matter! Many kudos for your worthy endeavors.

  • dtjessup

    I wanted to comment on your PBS program.

    – you presentation and visual aids were the best I have seen for explaining leaky gut and how probiotics function.

    – the info presented about omega 3 might be improved by looking at the difference in assimilation between fish oil vs krill. This research is from –

    Is krill oil really better than fish oil? What makes the difference?

    Krill Oil Basics

    Krill are tiny little shrimplike crustaceans that live in the ocean. They make up the largest biomass on the planet and are found in every sea.. but the ones we’re concerned with are known as Euphausia Superba and live in the Southern Ocean off the coast of Antarctica.

    Krill are full of Omega-3 fatty acids, which is why you would take a fish oil or krill oil supplement. But unlike fish oil (which has the Omega-3′s in the form of triglycerides) krill’s Omega-3′s are in the form of phospholipids. This difference in structure makes a world of difference to you as well.

    Your cell membranes are made of phospholipids. Your body can absorb and assimiliate them twice as easily as the triglyceride forms of fish oil. Which means that you can take less krill oil than fish oil and get as much or better results – so krill oil is a much better value.

    Krill oil also contains as much as 50X the antioxidant power of fish oil. This is largely due to the presence of astaxanthin, one of the most exciting and powerful antioxidants known and something fish oil just doesn’t have

  • luba

    After your PBS presentation I bought critical Omega3
    and after first pill I change my all digestive system.
    Krill oil did not helped in the past.
    God Bless YOU and YOUR WORK.

  • Lucky

    I have a good Omega Fish Oil, but it causes me to burp it up or a bad case of burn in my chest for a few days. I can take cod liver oil with C, but that sometimes causes the same effect but not as bad as the fish oil.

    Any suggestions?

    My GERD was considered pill induced when I was taking a thyroid pill. That was 2004. I have been changing my diet since then, but slip occasionally.

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