Fish oil, when combined with exercise, can help to keep your muscles strong as you age, according to research by the University of Aberdeen.
The research only offers initial findings at this point, with a larger study under-way, but the early results are promising for pensioners. While in young people exercise increases muscle mass, as we get older our body is less able to increase muscle mass through exercise alone.
In the study by the University of Aberdeen’s Musculoskeletal Research Programme, a pilot study undertaken with a small number of elderly women showed that after 12 weeks of resistance exercise training, those taking fish oil improved muscle strength by 20% compared to an 11% increase in the placebo group. That is almost twice the rate without fish oil.
The expanded study will be conducted with both males and females over the age of 65 who will be required to undertake an 18-week programme of resistance training.
So how can you get your fill of fish oil during the week?
Salmon is one of the best sources of fish oil, with 75g per 200g serving. Not far behind you’ll find sardines, cod liver and herring. If you’re not a fan of fish, you can get your omega-3 essential fatty acids in supplement form – our favourite fish oil capsules come from MyProtein and you should take 1-2 capsules 3 times per day with meals.