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Omega-3s enhance communication between nerves and muscles

In one study, 45 women, aged 62 to 65, followed a 90-day strength training program. One-third of the women took 2 grams of fish oil daily during training, one-third took fish oil 60 days prior to and during training, and one-third did not take fish oil. Exercises included knee and hip flexion and extension, leg presses and foot flexion.

After the training period, the women took muscle-strength and body-function tests including sitting on the floor with legs straight and reaching for toes; getting up from a chair and walking around a marker and sitting back down as quickly as possible; and a six-minute walking-distance test.

All three groups improved in all tests, but only the two fish oil groups improved more than 5 percent in the chair-rising test. The length of time taking fish oil did not affect the results.

Discussing their findings, researchers said fish oil may work by improving the fluidity of cell membranes, or may help initiate and accelerate muscle contraction, enhancing communication between the nerves and muscles, and improving quality of life.

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