Academic journal article Journal of Physical Education and Sport

Additional Effects of Stretching Training Program and Supplementation with ôMega-3 in Older People

Academic journal article Journal of Physical Education and Sport

Additional Effects of Stretching Training Program and Supplementation with ôMega-3 in Older People

Article excerpt


The aging process leads to adverse modifications in the body structure, declines physical function, and ultimately increases the risk of disability and dependence. A number of these modifications occur in muscleskeletal system such as changes in the size and in the proportion of different muscle fiber types, a reduction in bone mineral density and the presence of degenerative processes in the articulations. As consequence, some abilities are compromised, such as strength, power, balance and flexibility (Brady et al. 2014, Brinkley et al. 2009).

The negative outcomes of aging are supposed to be associated to a low-grade chronic inflammation (Franceschi et al. 2000) Included in the concept of immunosenescence, the inflammatory status of aging is called inflammaging (Jenny 2012) Although the precise etiology of this process remains unknown, it has been observed an increased level of inflammatory cytokines, probably due to macrophages modifications. These cytokines enhance oxidative stress, oxide cell membrane, and favor degenerative processes (Brady et al. 2014, Brinkley et al. 2009, Miljkovic et al. 2015).

In this context, it is important to search strategies aiming to reduce the age-related losses (Toscano et al. 2009). Physical activity and physical exercise have been extensively studied. The World Health Organization recommends that programs directed to elderly have to include different components of physical fitness, in order to ensure the maintenance of mobility and independence: cardiorespiratory, muscle resistance and power, balance and flexibility (WHO 2010, Tripton 2010).

Considering the inflammatory feature of aging process, other possible intervention aiming to preserve muscle function could be the intake of anti-inflammatory nutritional supplements. The ômega-3 fatty acids have a variety of anti-inflammatory and immune-modulating effects. Studies have pointed that ômega-3 fatty-acids, mainly EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), have effects on chronic or excessive inflammation such as rheumatoid arthritis (Carrilo-Trip et al. 2005). Some epidemiological studies have shown a reduction in inflammatory status of articulations with the supplementation of EPA and DHA (Carrilo-Trip et al. 2005, Akabas & Deckelbaum 2006, Mesa García et al. 2006). Gray et al. (2014) observed reduced markers of oxidative stress after a single bout of eccentric exercise in a group supplemented with ômega-3, when compared to a placebo group.

In this study, we hypothesize that supplementation could have an additional effect on a flexibility exercise program in elderly. As such, the aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of ômega-3 on flexibility and articular mobility in elderly submitted to a flexibility-training program.

Material and methods


This study was performed with a non-probabilistic sample of twenty-one elderly, recruited from regional community adult of Ferraz de Vasconcelos City, São Paulo, Brazil. To be included, they have to be 60 years or older, and be able to train two times per week in the course of 12 weeks. Exclusion criteria evaluated participation in any regular and structured physical activity for the last 3 months, motor deficiency, cognitive impairment or debilitating conditions, and medical contraindications to exercise. All the participants signed an informed consent and the research protocol was approved by the Ethic Committee of São Judas Tadeu University (process number 091/2010).

The voluntaries included were submitted to a flexibility exercises program, and they were randomly distributed, in a double blind feature, in two groups according to supplementation: PAS- physical activity group with supplementation of ômega-3 (n=9) and PAP- physical activity group with the use of placebo (n= 12). At the end of the study, the number of dropouts was seven and the reasons to abandoning the study are described at Figure 1. …

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