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Omega 3 supplementation efficacy in strength and muscle mass gain in healthy adults

Grant number: 22/02229-4
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate (Direct)
Effective date (Start): November 01, 2022
Effective date (End): April 30, 2025
Field of knowledge:Health Sciences - Nutrition
Principal Investigator:Fabiana Braga Benatti
Grantee:Heloisa Castanheira Santo André
Host Institution: Faculdade de Ciências Aplicadas (FCA). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Limeira , SP, Brazil


In recent years, studies have shown that omega 3 (n-3 PUFA) supplementation could be associated with increased rates of muscle protein synthesis, which may contribute to greater muscle mass and strength gain chronically. However, unlike studies in older adults, studies in adults are contradictory, and while some observe greater gains in muscle mass and strength in response to supplementation in healthy adults, others do not demonstrate these effects. Thus, it appears that under conditions in which protein synthesis is maximized (i.e., healthy adults undergoing physical exercise and with adequate protein intake), there is no additive effect of n-3 PUFA supplementation on muscle hypertrophy. However, there are no studies in the literature that have tested the effectiveness of n-3 PUFA supplementation in incresing strength and muscle mass under these conditions. The aim of this study is to evaluate the effectiveness of n-3 PUFA supplementation on muscle mass and strength gain, and muscle damage, in healthy adults undergoing strength training with adequate protein intake. Therefore, a clinical, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study will be carried out with 40 male subjects, aged between 18 and 40 years. Participants will be divided into two groups in a 1:1 ratio: Omega 3 (5g/d of fish oil) or Placebo (5g/d of sunflower oil). The protocol will last for 14 weeks, during which all participants will participate in strength training for the lower limbs (2x/week). Before and after the protocol, participants will be evaluated regarding maximal strength (1-RM leg press), body composition (BodPod), area of the rectus femoris and vastus lateralis muscles (ultrasound); in addition, blood samples will be used to assess the incorporation of fatty acids into the blood; and muscle biopsies will be used for cross-sectional area (ASTf) analysis of muscle fibers, activation of protein synthesis pathways, and fatty acid incorporation into myocytes (lipidomic analysis). In addition, food consumption will be monitored during the protocol through 24-hour recalls. (AU)

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