Google+ Running in Cork, Ireland: New study shows fish oil may help the immune system post Marathon...

Thursday, December 20, 2012

New study shows fish oil may help the immune system post Marathon...

As many of you who have run a Marathon or taken part in other endurance sports will know, the most common time to pick up an infection is after the event when your immune system is suppressed. This  is caused by damage to lymphocytes which are a type of white blood cell instrumental to the body's immune system response.

A recent study at the Institute of Physical Activity and Sports Sciences in São Paulo, Brazil carried out a test on 21 athletes. Eight marathon runners were supplemented with 3 g of Fish Oil rich in docosahexaenoic, or DHA, a type of omega-3 fatty acid daily for 60 days and thirteen athletes were not supplemented. Measurements of the bodies lymphocytes were taken before and after the Marathon.

The researchers found that both groups' lymphocytes showed one common post-marathon effect, namely, what's known as "cell death." But the marathoners who took fish oil, the researchers found, produced more lymphocytes before and after the race, and their production of cytokines, a protein thought to help the immune system operate, didn't decline as much as in the runners who hadn't supplemented with fish oil. In theory, the proliferation of these cells should help one's post-marathon immune system function at a higher level and make you less susceptible to colds.

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