Omega-3 fatty acid supplementation attenuates skeletal muscle disuse atrophy during two weeks of unilateral leg immobilization in healthy young women

FASEB J. 2019 Mar;33(3):4586-4597. doi: 10.1096/fj.201801857RRR. Epub 2019 Jan 10.

Abstract

Omega-3 (n-3) fatty acid supplementation enhances muscle protein synthesis and muscle size. Whether n-3 fatty acid supplementation attenuates human muscle disuse atrophy is unknown. We determined the influence of n-3 fatty acid supplementation on muscle size, mass, and integrated rates of myofibrillar protein synthesis (MyoPS) following 2 wk of muscle disuse and recovery in women. Twenty women (BMI = 23.0 ± 2.3 kg/m2, age = 22 ± 3 yr) underwent 2 wk of unilateral limb immobilization followed by 2 wk of return to normal activity. Starting 4 wk prior to immobilization, participants consumed either 5 g/d of n-3 fatty acid or an isoenergetic quantity of sunflower oil (control). Muscle size and mass were measured pre- and postimmobilization, and after recovery. Serial muscle biopsies were obtained to measure integrated (daily) MyoPS. Following immobilization, the decline in muscle volume was greater in the control group compared to the n-3 fatty acid group (14 vs. 8%, P < 0.05) and was not different from preimmobilization at recovery in the n-3 fatty acid group; however, it was still lower in the control group ( P < 0.05). Muscle mass was reduced in the control group only ( P < 0.05). MyoPS was higher in the n-3 group compared with the control group at all times ( P < 0.05). We conclude that n-3 fatty acid supplementation attenuates skeletal muscle disuse atrophy in young women, which may be mediated by higher rates of MyoPS.-McGlory, C., Gorissen, S. H. M., Kamal, M., Bahniwal, R., Hector, A. J., Baker, S. K., Chabowski, A., Phillips, S. M. Omega-3 fatty acid supplementation attenuates skeletal muscle disuse atrophy during two weeks of unilateral leg immobilization in healthy young women.

Keywords: fish oil; protein synthesis; proteolysis.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Biopsy
  • Body Composition / drug effects
  • Body Water
  • Dietary Fats / administration & dosage
  • Dietary Fats / therapeutic use*
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3 / administration & dosage
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3 / pharmacology
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3 / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Immobilization / adverse effects*
  • Knee / physiology
  • Muscle Proteins / biosynthesis
  • Muscle Proteins / genetics
  • Muscle Strength / drug effects
  • Muscular Atrophy / etiology
  • Muscular Atrophy / prevention & control*
  • Myofibrils / metabolism
  • Organ Size / drug effects
  • Phospholipids / analysis
  • Phospholipids / blood
  • Quadriceps Muscle / drug effects
  • Quadriceps Muscle / metabolism
  • Quadriceps Muscle / pathology
  • Reference Values
  • Sunflower Oil / administration & dosage
  • Young Adult

Substances

  • Dietary Fats
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3
  • Muscle Proteins
  • Phospholipids
  • Sunflower Oil

Grant support