The effect of supplementation with n-3 fatty acids on the physical performance in subjects with spinal cord injury

J Physiol Biochem. 2006 Dec;62(4):271-9. doi: 10.1007/BF03165756.


A global physical evaluation was performed in 21 males with spinal cord injury (SCI), at the beginning and at three and six months of omega-3 fatty acid (FA) supplementation. A significant increase in the proportion of eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexanoic acid in plasma was observed in response to the supplementation (p<0.05). After six months of FA supplementation, strength endurance time increased from 127.7+/-19.0 s to 215.2+/-45.6 s in the right arm, and from 139+/-27.6 s to 237.7+/-48.7 s, in the left arm. The time to perform 20 repetitions of 70% maximum workload showed a reduction of 41% between the first and the third test. The time taken to cover a 90 meter long track, with a 6% slope, was reduced from 66.9+/-8.0 s to 59.3+/-6.7 s, at the end of the study (p<0.05). In conclusion, omega-3 FA supplementation could contribute to improve the functional capabilities in SCI subjects.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3 / pharmacology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Psychomotor Performance*
  • Spinal Cord Injuries / physiopathology*


  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3