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How to keep muscles healthy in old age? Fish oil and weight training

Fish oil could help keep muscles healthy. Picture: TSPL

Fish oil could help keep muscles healthy. Picture: TSPL

  • by NATALIE WALKER
 

FISH oil and weight training could be the key to keeping muscles healthy, a team of Scottish researchers believe.

A team Aberdeen University aims to test their theory on elderly volunteers in a four-month study into the effects of the oil and weight training on muscles.

Scientists say this is important because as we age our muscle size is reduced by up to two per cent every year.

This process, known as sarcopenia, can result in a reduction in quality of life and loss of independence.

Their study follows onto to earlier work led by Dr Stuart Gray of the University’s Musculoskeletal Research Programme which showed that supplementing the diet of women over 65 years of age with fish oil can have beneficial effects on muscle strength and function.

Dr Gray said: “Our next study, which will build on our earlier research, will investigate whether taking fish oil supplements alongside regular weight training exercises could help improve the beneficial effects of such exercise in the elderly.

“We will ask both men and women over 65 to undertake an 18 week programme of resistance training at the University’s Health Sciences Building at the Foresterhill health campus.

“Half of the participants will also take fish oil supplements while the other half will be given a placebo supplement.

“We will monitor changes in muscle strength and function; muscle mass, volume and fat content in our volunteers using MR scans.

“We will also take blood samples and check these for insulin sensitivity and inflammation in blood and to examine what is going on in the muscles.”

 

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