Fish oil contains a key ingredient that provides a natural treatment option for those suffering from muscle soreness and nerve pain. The fatty acids found in fish oil are believed to relieve inflammation and accelerate the healing process. Fish oil is used to treat exercise-related muscle soreness, nerve damage caused by accident or injury, and age-related muscle inflammation. Fish oil’s side effects can be significant, so it’s important you talk to your doctor before self-treating with this supplement.
Fish oil is an abundant source of fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids, in particular, are thought to be beneficial in regulating the body’s inflammation response. Omega-3 acids, specifically eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) are believed to boost the production of pro-resolution molecules, which perform a vital role in efficiently resolving inflammation within the body. Because the body cannot create omega-3 fatty acids on its own, they must be replenished through food sources or supplements like fish oil.
Treating Sore Muscles
A 2011 study conducted by Doisy College and published in the “Journal of Sports Science and Medicine” studied the effect of omega-3 acids in treating bicep inflammation caused by arm curl strength exercises. The study participants ingested 2,000 milligrams of EPA and 1,000 milligrams of DHA via supplements daily for one week while maintaining a low omega-3 diet. Participants reported decreased localized muscle soreness after performing arm curl exercises while taking the omega-3 supplements.
Repairing Nerve Damage
In a 2012 mice study conducted by Queen Mary, University of London and published in the “Journal of Neuroscience,” omega-3 fatty acids, like those found in fish oil supplements, were found to be beneficial in treating nerve damage. Peripheral nerve cells treated with omega-3 fatty acids demonstrated decreased cell death, suggesting that this particular fatty acid protects nerves from injury. Additionally, the researchers found that sciatic nerve injuries responded well to omega-3 fatty acid treatment, leading to less muscle wasting.
According to MayoClinic.com, taking fish oil supplements can cause gastrointestinal symptoms, headaches and an increase in blood sugar and LDL cholesterol levels, as well as a host of other side effects. Beginning with a low dose and taking the supplement with food may minimize side effects. Fish oil can also cause drug interactions with blood thinning medications and hormone replacement therapy supplements. There is also the risk of environmental toxins, such as mercury, being present in fish oil supplements.
References & Resources
- Life Extension Magazine: Groundbreaking Study Reveals New Mechanism Behind Fish Oil’s Health Benefits
- Journal of Sports Science and Medicine: The Effect of Omega-3 Fatty Acid Supplementation on the Inflammatory Response to Eccentric Strength Exercise
- Queen Mary University of London: Omega-3 Fatty Acids Could Prevent and Treat Nerve Damage, Research Suggests
- MayoClinic.com: Omega-3 Fatty Acids, Fish Oil, Alpha-Linolenic Acid