Effects of omega-3 fatty acids on muscle mass, muscle strength and muscle performance among the elderly: A meta-analysis

Ya Hui Huang, Wan Chun Chiu, Yuan Pin Hsu, Yen Li Lo, Yuan Hung Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

There is increasing evidence showing the role of fatty acids and their derived lipid intermediates in the regulation of skeletal muscle mass synthesis and function. However, the role of omega-3 fatty acids remains unclear. Therefore, we conducted a meta-analysis to evaluate the potential effects of omega-3 fatty acids on sarcopenia-related performances among the elderly. Eligible literature and reports of randomized controlled trials were comprehensively searched from the PubMed, Cochrane Library, ClinicalTrials.gov, and Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL) databases until July 2018. A total of 10 articles were available for the meta-analysis. There were minor benefits for muscle mass gain (0.33 kg; 95% CI: 0.05, 0.62) and timed up and go performance (−0.30 s; 95% CI: −0.43, −0.17). Subgroup analyses regarding muscle mass and walk speed indicated that omega-3 fatty acid supplements at more than 2 g/day may contribute to muscle mass gain (0.67 kg; 95% CI: 0.16, 1.18) and improve walking speed, especially for those receiving more than 6 months of intervention (1.78 m/sec; 95% CI: 1.38, 2.17). Our findings provide some insight into the effects of omega-3 fatty acids on muscle mass, especially for those taking supplements at more than 2 g/day. We also observed that a long period of omega-3 fatty acids supplementation may improve walking speed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3739
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalNutrients
Volume12
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020

Keywords

  • Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)
  • Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA)
  • Elderly
  • N-3 PUFAs
  • Omega-3 fatty acid
  • Sarcopenia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

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