Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (omega-3 FA) have been shown to reduce high blood triglycerides concentration when combined with low-fat and low-cholesterol diet in clinical studies. In other studies, an increased amount of dietary long-chain omega-3 FA intake has been shown to improve anabolism in cachexia. Dr. Mittendorfer and her colleagues from Washington University School of Medicine, St Louis, U.S.A are the first scientists το examine the role of increased omega-3 dietary intake on anabolism in healthy individuals. In their study that was recently published, 9 healthy men supplemented their diet with omega-3 FA (4 g of Lovaza®/day) for 8 weeks. Their results showed that omega-3 FA supplementation has an anabolic effect in healthy individuals.
One important observation, is the anabolic effect was only when hyperinsulinaemia and hyperaminoacidaemia were presented. No anabolic effect was shown in response to omega-3 supplementation without hyperinsulineaemia. Although speculative, this means that to facilitate anabolism and recovery omega-3 supplements should be taken when blood insulin levels are high. High blood insulin is the response of a high carbohydrate (CHO) meal or CHO drink intake. More important, hyperinsulinaemia and probably hyperaminoacidaemia can be achieved with the co-ingestion of carbohydrate and protein after a match or exhaustive training, as discussed in my previous post.
Smith et al. Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids augment the muscle protein anabolic response to hyperinsulinaemia-hyperaminoacidaemia in healthy young and middle-aged men and women, Clin Sci 121(6):267-78, 2011.