Loss of muscle mass as we get older is a common problem for many.
Omega 3 fatty acids have been found to stimulate protein anabolism (construction of protein) in animals, but it has not been known if omega 3 fatty acids are able to do the same in humans.
The study reviewed evaluated that by giving either omega 3 fatty acids or corn oil for 8 weeks to healthy older adults (Smith GI, et al. 2011).
Corn oil supplementation had no effect on the muscle protein synthesis (building of protein and tissue). What was interesting however was that the omega 3 fatty acids did stimulate the muscle protein synthesis. The dosage used in this study was 1.86g of EPA and 1.5g of DHA daily. EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) are the active ingredients in omega 3 fish oil.
Exercise is of course important if you want to avoid losing muscle mass as you get older.
To take the amount of EPA, DHA used daily in this study you have to take a lot of ordinary fish oil capsules. You can avoid this by using a formula that has higher amount of EPA, DHA per capsule.