A new study finds strength training plus fish oil may aid the immune system in older women.
45 women with an average age of 64 participated in this study. The women were separated into different groups. One group performed strength training for 90 days no supplementation another group did strength training with 2 grams of fish oil per day for 90 days and the final group supplemented 2 grams of fish oil for 60 days and then began a strength training program for 90 days.
The training consisted floor and upright foot, knee, hip and leg exercises and were performed 3 times per week. Certain parameters of the immune system were tested prior to supplementation and also before and after training.
Researchers found that training alone did not enhance the immune system. The fish oil apparently improved the immune system by increasing white blood cells neutrophils (the most abundant type of white blood cell found in mammals) functioning, as well as increasing cytokines IL-2 by 80% and IFN-g by 60%. Supplements of fish oil and exercise increased IL-2 by 85% and IFN-g by 88%. These lymphocyte cytokines are important small proteins used for cell signaling in the immune system.
Further research is needed with larger sample sizes and increased health screenings.
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