Protective effect of omega-3 on deterioration in physical performance.
Nutrition could regulate physical performance among the elderly and the opposing properties of omega-3 and omega-6 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LC-PUFA) may especially affect muscle function.
A study was conducted in Bordeaux with the participation of 982 subjects to assess the association between plasma fatty acids and gait speed in elderly people. The participants’ plasma fatty acid ratio and gait speeds were measured (a low speed was defined as the first quartile). When the researchers conducted a multivariant analysis of the data, they found that in this age group, when plasma concentrations of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), both omega-3 LC-PUFAs, are higher than omega-6 fatty acids, gait speed is greater; however when concentrations of arachidonic acid (omega-6 fatty acids) are higher than omega-3 fatty acids, gait speed is lower.
These findings show the possible protective effect of omega-3 LC-PUFA on deterioration in physical performance.