After the age of 30 the average sedentary person loses from 3 to 5% of muscle mass each decade. This may not sound like a lot, but four decades later and the losses accumulate to a total of 20%. The consequences are dire: falls, broken bones, hips, and ultimately loss of mobility and a stark decline in the quality of life.
Much of this muscle loss is preventable through basic strength and resistance training. In other words, lifting heavy things is key to maintaining muscle and actually growing them. In our modern society, most people don’t lift heavy things and so working out becomes a critical part of maintaining health.
But there are other things besides exercise that we can do to help stave off muscle loss. One of them, surprisingly, is supplementing with fish oil. A 2015 study of sixty healthy men and women between the ages of 60-85 found that fish oil supplementation for six months resulted in a 3.6% increase in thigh muscle volume and 4.0% increase in muscle strength based on one-repetition maximum test. Although it is not known the mechanism for these benefits, results from this and other studies conclude “…that fish oil stimulates muscle protein synthesis and improves muscle mass and function in sedentary older adults and augments the resistance exercise training-induced increase in muscle strength in older adults.”
When purchasing fish oil, aim for a product that needs refrigeration once opened, comes in a bottle, and is tested free of heavy metals and other toxins. Our favorite brand is Carlson. You can find the oil in Amazon or Whole Foods.