Acceso abierto

The potential role of omega-3 fatty acids supplements in increasing athletic performance


Polyunsaturated omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are essential fatty acids that cannot be produced by the body itself and therefore must be provided through nutrition. Omega-6 and particularly omega-3 fatty acids have important roles in the organism, contributing to the maintenance and promotion of health. The optimal proportion of omega-6/omega-3 fatty acids is 2:1, or even better 1:1. They are involved in normal growth and development, play a role in the prevention of coronary and cardiovascular diseases, of diabetes mellitus, of arterial hypertension, arthritis and cancer. Omega-3 fatty acids mainly have an anti-inflammatory effect, but also act as hypolipidemic and antithrombotic agents. A potential role of omega-3 fatty acids is that of increasing physical performance. Their role in the physical activity refers on one side to the global health of athletes and on the other side to their anti-inflammatory effect, as high intensity physical exercise induces increased free-radical production and microtraumas, with the induction of an inflammatory status. The anti-inflammatory effect of these fatty acids manifests through an increased production of endogenous antioxidant enzymes, through decreasing the production of prostaglandins metabolites, decreasing the production of leukotriene B4, etc. They are also effective on reducing muscle pain post eccentric exercise and on decreasing the severity of bronchoconstriction induced by exercise, as well as improving pulmonary function variables. In conclusion it seems that supplementing diets with omega-3 fatty acids, apart from having benefic effects on health and on the prevention and management of certain affections, proves to be a beneficial for physical activity and athletic performance.

Calendario de la edición:
2 veces al año
Temas de la revista:
Social Sciences, Education, other