Monday, January 17, 2011

Three cheers for omega-3's

An American Journal Clinical Nutrition placebo-controlled, double-blind, study compared the effects of a nutritional dose of EPA+DHA (0.85 g/d) with those of a pharmaceutical dose (3.4 g/d) on serum triglycerides, inflammatory markers, and endothelial function in healthy subjects with moderately elevated triglycerides. The higher dose of EPA+DHA lowered triglycerides by 27% compared with placebo, whereas no effect of the lower dose was observed on lipids.

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. This American Journal of Clinical Nutrition study was to evaluate the effect of omega-3 fatty acid supplementation on the rate of muscle protein synthesis in older adults receiving either omega-3 fatty acids or corn oil for 8 wk.

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 augmented the hyperaminoacidemia-hyperinsulinemia–induced increase in the rate of muscle protein synthesis, which was accompanied by greater increases in muscle phosphorylation. Hence, this is the first study to show omega-3 fatty acids stimulate muscle protein synthesis in older adults and may be useful for the prevention and treatment of sarcopenia.

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