Results from a clinical trial on healthy elderly, conducted by researchers at the University College of Dublin, was presented at a large conference on Frailty and Sarcopenia in Philadelphia, 28-29th of April 2016 (http://www.frailty-sarcopenia.com).
Sarcopenia can be explained as an age related decline in muscle function and muscle mass causing functional problems and a high risk of disability. In this placebo controlled study the researches investigated whether supplementation of a nutritional drink containing omega-3 fatty acids (DHA and EPA), whey protein, vitamin D and other botanical components (developed by Smartfish) could impact age related decline, related to muscle and physical function, body composition and cognitive performance. 37 participants, men and women, aged 65 and older, completed a six month supplementation period (16 persons in the placebo group and 22 in the active group).
The results showed a significant increase in muscle function. The grip strength (a well recognized measure for muscle function) increased 5% in the group that were drinking the Smartfish drink. In the placebo group, there was a decline in hand grip strength of 6%, this is a normal decline during a 6 month period for persons at that age. Balance improved by 21% in the group consuming the Smartfish formulation – whereas there was no change in the placebo group. In the group as a whole there was no significant change in muscle mass – however, it was clear that those who had the lowest muscle mass percentage (an indicator of sarcopenia) at start of treatment had an increase in muscle mass when they consumed the Smartfish drink.
The researchers performing this study concluded that the Smartfish drink demonstrates improvement in muscle function in healthy elderly, and that it is likely that intake of this nutritional drink can increase muscle strength in elderly that exhibit a low muscle mass percentage.