As we age, our ability to maintain strong muscles and bone naturally declines. These studies looked at how vitamin D and fish oil may be utilized by the body to potentially improve these important health areas.
Nutrients lower knee pain, boost muscle function
Vitamin D in osteoarthritis
Vitamin D helps keep bones strong and reduce inflammation, two factors in reducing osteoarthritis. In this study, doctors analyzed a racially diverse group of 256 women and men, average age 57, with osteoarthritis of the knee.
About half the participants were obese, and among these, 54 percent were deficient in vitamin D. Among non-obese participants, 22 percent were deficient in vitamin D. Overall, those with adequate levels of vitamin D reported less knee pain than those with low or deficient levels, regardless of weight. Among those who were obese, men and women with adequate or better vitamin D levels had better physical performance.
Reference: Clinical Journal of Pain; January, 2015, Published Online
Fish oil increased muscle mass, strength
Muscle mass and strength decline with age, increasing chances for health problems. In this study, 60 healthy older men and women took 1,860 mg of the omega-3 EPA plus 1,500 mg of the omega-3 DHA from fish oil per day, or a placebo.
After six months, while the placebo group had not improved in any measure, those taking fish oil had 3.6 percent greater thigh-muscle volume, an increase of more than five pounds in handgrip strength, and a 4 percent increase in the maximum amount of weight they could lift in one repetition. Overall, muscle power had increased by 5.6 percent for the fish oil group.
Discussing the findings, doctors said omega-3 fish oils may improve muscle size and function by increasing the rate at which the body is able to synthesize muscle proteins, helping maintain muscle function in older adults.
Reference: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition; May, 2015, Published Online
Betsy’s Note: Remember, fish oil also thins blood. This article is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent or cure any disease. Consult your health care provider, especially if you take medication or have a medical condition, before starting new supplements.
Article copyright 2015 by Natural Insights for Well Being. All rights reserved. Used with permission.