As we age, we typically experience a decrease in muscle mass and metabolic rate and an increase in fat mass, thereby predisposing older adults to chronic disease and functional impairment. The result is an eventual decrease in the quality of life. Researchers from the Department of Human Health and Nutritional Sciences at the University of Guelph in Canada, conducted a study to evaluate the effect of fish oil (FO) supplementation in a cohort of healthy, community-dwelling older females. They evaluated 1) metabolic rate and substrate oxidation at rest and during exercise; 2) resting blood pressure and exercise heart rates; 3) body composition; 4) strength and physical function, and; 5) blood measures of insulin, glucose, CRP and triglycerides. Twenty-four females (66 ± 1 yr) were randomly assigned to receive either 3g/day of EPA and DHA or a placebo for 12 weeks. Exercise measurements were taken before and after 12 weeks and resting metabolic measures were made before and at 6 and 12 weeks. Results showed that FO supplementation significantly increased resting metabolic rate by 14%, energy expenditure during exercise by 10%, and the rate of fat oxidation during rest by 19% and during exercise by 27%. Additionally, FO consumption lowered triglycerides by 29%, increased lean mass by 4%, and functional capacity by 7%. No changes occurred in the placebo group.
Logan SL, Spriet LL. Omega-3 Fatty Acid Supplementation for 12 Weeks Increases Resting and Exercise Metabolic Rate in Healthy Community-Dwelling Older Females. PLoS ONE 10 (12): e0144828. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0144828 (Dec 17, 2015)