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Dietary omega-3 fatty acid supplementation increases the rate of muscle protein synthesis

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  • Dietary omega-3 fatty acid supplementation increases the rate of muscle protein synthesis

    Am J Clin Nutr. 2010 Dec 15. [Epub ahead of print]
    Dietary omega-3 fatty acid supplementation increases the rate of muscle protein synthesis in older adults: a randomized controlled trial.

    Smith GI, Atherton P, Reeds DN, Mohammed BS, Rankin D, Rennie MJ, Mittendorfer B.
    Washington University, School of Medicine, St Louis, MO, and the University of Nottingham, School of Graduate Entry Medicine and Health, Derby, United Kingdom.

    BACKGROUND: Loss of muscle mass with aging is a major public health concern. Omega-3 (n-3) fatty acids stimulate protein anabolism in animals and might therefore be useful for the treatment of sarcopenia. However, the effect of omega-3 fatty acids on human protein metabolism is unknown.
    OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of omega-3 fatty acid supplementation on the rate of muscle protein synthesis in older adults.
    DESIGN: Sixteen healthy, older adults were randomly assigned to receive either omega-3 fatty acids or corn oil for 8 wk. The rate of muscle protein synthesis and the phosphorylation of key elements of the anabolic signaling pathway were evaluated before and after supplementation during basal, postabsorptive conditions and during a hyperaminoacidemic-hyperinsulinemic clamp.
    RESULTS: Corn oil supplementation had no effect on the muscle protein synthesis rate and the extent of anabolic signaling element phosphorylation in muscle. Omega-3 fatty acid supplementation had no effect on the basal rate of muscle protein synthesis (mean SEM: 0.051 0.005 compared with 0.053 0.008%/h before and after supplementation, respectively; P = 0.80) but augmented the hyperaminoacidemia-hyperinsulinemia-induced increase in the rate of muscle protein synthesis (from 0.009 0.005%/h above basal values to 0.031 0.003%/h above basal values; P < 0.01), which was accompanied by greater increases in muscle mTOR(Ser2448) (P = 0.08) and p70s6k(Thr389) (P < 0.01) phosphorylation.
    CONCLUSION: Omega-3 fatty acids stimulate muscle protein synthesis in older adults and may be useful for the prevention and treatment of sarcopenia. This trial was registered at clinical as NCT00794079.

  • #2
    I'm hoping that these data, along with their follow up, ultimately put EFA's on the supplement map for younger people. Highlighting the impact of DHA/EPA concentrate is just another bonus.
    The Anabolic Index is HERE!


    • #3
      What sort of dosage would be recommended?


      • #4
        Originally posted by JonnoGB View Post
        What sort of dosage would be recommended?
        8-10g fish oil really isn't overly excessive IMHO, especially if you are using it treat something like depression, muscular inflammation or anything specific with regards to the cardiovascular system. I would consider a big dosage of Omega 3 to be around the 10-20g mark personally; I have worked alongside a top NZ track cycling coach that had his squad on well over 15,000mg Omega 3 a day with good results; the only common side effect can be an upset stomach, in which case you can just reduce the Omega 3 oils until you start to come right, much like you would do when you are running big doses of Vitamin C.

        I would say 5g is a good starting point but I wouldn't be too afraid to go heavy with the EFA's, just tailor the dosage to meet your needs & requirements. Be aware of your diet in combination with running Omega 3's as it has been shown in studies that cholesterol-lowering diets can increase the risk of depression. This is due to the decrease in Omega 3 fatty acids which can reduce the DHA levels in the brain (the brain comprises of anywhere up to 50% DHA). DHA is an essential part of the neuronal cell membranes, but if it becomes replaced by Omega 6 fatty acids then the likelihood of depression increases as this can cause changes to the structure of the membranes.

        Look for Omega 3's that have a good ratio of DHA to EPA, the common ratio tends to be 180 to 120 but you can get higher than that (usually oils contain higher levels and you do get what you pay for). I routinely take 18g and have no aches, pains or even DOMS

        It's advisable to take your Omega 3's with meals as the food can aid absorption as well as preventing/lmiting any reflux, although you can get good quality 'Reflux Free' fish oils nowadays. Price is indicative of quality and these are one supplement you do want to be getting as good as you can afford.

        They are pretty safe overall, just be careful of the interactions they may have with any mood-improving medications you may be taking as well as blood thinning agents such as Warfarin and even the common aspirin.

        Other good food sources of Omega 3's are avacodo, cold water sea fish, extra virgin olive oil, peanut butter/coconut oil (be aware of the saturated fat content) and raw nuts ~ cashews are great as are brazil nuts.


        • #5
          Thanks,Jim.Highly detailed answer.


          • #6
            Haha, yeah it was a bit wasn't it? If it's something I know a bit about I tend to get carried away lol


            • #7
              If any of you guys are into health, nutrition and wellbeing please take a few minutes to check out this thread I put up...


              It's probably stuff that BB'ers aren't overly interested in or don't want to hear as they have fully bought into the popular steak, chicken and eggs concepts of BB'ing nutrition. Couple that with a misguided & misjudged perception of vegetarianism and it's easy to see how they would write off all of this off straightaway. But well worth a look ~ I have been studying health, wellness & longevity (and the science/facts behind it) for around ten years.

              Interested to hear what you think, thanks in advance JIM.


              • #8
                hey lots of info here, thanks
                Check out before getting ripped off!