The progressive loss of muscle with aging is recognized as a problem but not considered a disease. Like most things associated with aging I personally consider aging the disease and the muscle loss, known as sarcopenia, as a symptom or sign if you prefer of aging.
It is often associated with dynopenia which is the loss of strength- kinda makes sense no?!
While there are some very high tech and expensive ways to combat this using gene therapy good ol’fish oil might also be a tool to fight sarcopenia. Please understand its fish oil, not krill, not eating fish, but fish oil. In other words a fish oil supplement!!!
There is a huge attempt by the medical and food establishment to tell people eating fish is better. Show me someone who eats enough to get to a good tissue level of Omega 3 and I’ll show you someone from Alaska, Okinawa, or Greenland.
And I’ll also show you evidence of the accumulation of heavy metals and plastic derivatives that can do nothing good in the human body.
Like it or not fish oil is the most efficient, proven and reliable way to increase tissue Omega 3 levels.
Right now, the only recommendations for combatting sarcopenia are regular exercise and maybe a high protein diet. The later might not be all that healthy for aging kidneys. I suspect creatine might help but that has not been tested in the aged.
Now there are a lot of reasons that are easy to come up with for muscle loss with aging such as doing less, arthritis, other illnesses, loss of bone mass (remember too men are often testosterone deficient in their later years which can make loss of bone a serious problem) and of course age-related fatigue.
But sarcopenia seems to be something more than just an aged life style. It appears that something is going on with protein metabolism and repair that currently defies description and can happen even in older people who are considered healthy.
Studies with adequate amounts of fish oil (4grams a day) for adequate time periods (6 months before reevaluation) showed improved results in training strength, muscle mass and function.
Other studies have suggested this happens in healthy younger individuals to the point where fish oil is commonly recommended by men’s and women’s health and body building magazines.
And then there is the potential added benefit of fat loss.
I am so glad some of the researchers decided not to listen to the current “don’t take more than 2 or 3 grams of fish oil a day!” nonsense.
Remember the amount you need is based on your diet, not your sex or your age. And if you want you can do a simple finger stick blood test to measure your Omega3’s simple finger stick blood test to measure your Omega3’s. I used to work with a company that did this but they mistakenly put their office in NYC a few months before NYC passed a law that said no blood can be imported into the city from outside. End of story. But just google it and you’ll find the test!
Again, personally speaking I wouldn’t wait to take fish oil until you “need” it. Do it now!!!!
Reference: Gray SR, Mittendorfer B. Fish oil-derived n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids for the prevention and treatment of sarcopenia. Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2017 Dec 9.