Sport and omega-3

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) (1):

  • Adults aged 18 to 64 should do a minimum of 150 minutes moderate aerobic physical activity a week, or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic physical activity a week, or an equivalent combination of moderate and vigorous activity.
  • The aerobic activity should be in sessions lasting a minimum of 10 minutes.
  • However, with the aim of obtaining even greater health benefits, adults in this age group should increase the moderate aerobic physical activity to 300 minutes, or up to 150 minutes of intense aerobic physical activity, or an equivalent combination of moderate and vigorous activity.
  • Twice a week or more, activities should be done to exercise the main muscle groups.

As well as the WHO recommendations, it is important to stress that there is significant scientific evidence on the relationship between physical activity and better health:

  • One of the clearest areas is cardiovascular protection, by reducing blood pressure or improving blood lipid levels with an increase in HDL (high density lipoproteins, commonly known as good cholesterol [2]) and a decrease in triglycerides (3).
  • Physical activity improves metabolic syndrome (3). Metabolic syndrome is a group of risk factors that increase the probability of cardiovascular disease or diabetes type 2 in an individual (4).
  • There is also evidence that exercise improves general mental health, reducing anxiety, insomnia and mood disorders (3).

Diet is also a fundamental element. Taking omega-3 produces a major direct benefit for athletes.

Why choose omega-3?

Omega-3 fatty acids have a recognised effect on:

  • Cardiovascular system, such as the heart and arteries, improving heart function.
  • Neurological system: omega-3 facilitates concentration, stimulates memory and improves mood and even vision (5-7).
  • Anti-inflammatory protection: recent studies indicate that supplementation with omega-3 fatty acids reduces muscle pain after intense exercise, a sign associated with local inflammation. In addition, omega-3 fatty acids can increase muscle strength and/or reduce fatigue, thanks to their anabolic properties in muscle tissue (8).
  • Respiratory system: omega-3 fatty acids can improve certain lung function parameters, such as forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1), or forced vital capacity (FVC) (9).
  • Metabolism: omega-3 increases the metabolic rate and reduce fat mass (10).

Bibliography

1. WHO. Global recommendations on physical activity for health. [Cited 2014 Feb 28.]. 2. National Institutes of Health. Understanding cholesterol results. [Updated 2011 Jul 18; cited 2014 Feb 28.]. 3. Terreros Blanco JA, et al. Plan Integral para la Actividad Física y el Deporte. Versión 1. 2009. 4. National Institutes of Health. Metabolic Syndrome. [Cited 2014 Feb 28.]. 5. Rodrigo Valenzuela B, Gladys Tapia O, Marcela González E, Alfonso Valenzuela B. Ácidos grasos omega-3 (EPA y DHA) y su aplicación en diversas situaciones clínicas. Rev Chil Nutr. 2011;38(3):356-67. 6. Witte AV, Kerti L, Hermannstädter HM, et al. Long-chain omega-3 fatty acids improve brain function and structure in older adults. Cereb Cortex. 2013 Jun 24. 7. Fontani G, Corradeschi F, Felici A, et al. Cognitive and physiological effects of Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid supplementation in healthy subjects. Eur J Clin Invest. 2005;35:691-9. 8. Jouris KB, McDaniel JL, Weiss EP. The effect of omega-3 fatty acid supplementation on the inflammatory response to eccentric strenght exercice. J Sports Sci Med. 2011;10:432-8. 9. Tartibian B, Maleki BH, Abbasi A. The effects of omega-3 supplementation on pulmonary function of young wrestlers during intensive training. J Sci Med Sport. 2010 Mar;13(2):281-6. 10. Rodríguez–Cruz M, Tovar A R, del Prado M, Torres N. Mecanismos moleculares de acción de los ácidos grasos poliinsaturados y sus beneficios en la salud. Rev Invest Clin. 2005;57(3).

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  2. This is a document whose purpose is to collect and reflect widely accepted scientific evidence with document references on omega-3 fatty acids.
  3. All scientific opinions that appear in this document are properly numbered and referenced at the end.
  4. Megafort Pharma, S.L. does not attribute the health claims contained in the scientific opinions in this document to its products.
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