Effects of DHA-Rich n-3 fatty acid supplementation and/or resistance training on body composition and cardiometabolic biomarkers in overweight and obese post-menopausal women
Resistance training (RT) and n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFA) supplementation have emerged as strategies to improve muscle function in older adults. Overweight/obese postmenopausal women (55-70 years) were randomly allocated to one of four experimental groups, receiving placebo (olive oil) or docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)-rich n-3 PUFA supplementation alone or in combination with a supervised RT-program for 16 weeks. At baseline and at end of the trial, body composition, anthropometrical measures, blood pressure and serum glucose and lipid biomarkers were analyzed. Oral glucose tolerance tests (OGTT) and strength tests were also performed. All groups exhibit a similar moderate reduction in body weight and fat mass, but the RT-groups maintained bone mineral content, increased upper limbs lean mass, decreased lower limbs fat mass, and increased muscle strength and quality compared to untrained-groups. The RT-program also improved glucose tolerance (lowering the OGTT incremental area under the curve). The DHA-rich supplementation lowered diastolic blood pressure and circulating triglycerides and increased muscle quality in lower limbs. In conclusion, 16-week RT-program improved segmented body composition, bone mineral content, and glucose tolerance, while the DHA-rich supplement had beneficial effects on cardiovascular health markers in overweight/obese postmenopausal women. No synergistic effects were observed for DHA supplementation and RT-program combination.