Effect of DHA supplementation on muscle damage and inflammation during the first two weeks of a novice resistance training program
Aim: The purpose of this study was to investigate docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) ingestion on muscle damage and inflammation during the first two weeks of a novice resistance training (RT) program.
Methods: This study was a placebo-controlled, double-blind design. Forty-one healthy untrained males between the ages of 18 and 28 years consumed 2,000 mg/d of either DHA or corn oil (PCB) for 44 days including a 28 day loading period. Serum fatty acids were analyzed to determine treatment efficacy. During the 17 day training period, an acute eccentric exercise bout was implemented followed by a full-body RT regimen thrice weekly. Six fasted blood draws (days 1, 2, 4, 7, 12, and 17) during this exercise period were analyzed for creatine kinase (CK) and C-reactive protein (CRP). Maximum isometric strength (ISO) of the elbow flexors, delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS), and range of motion (ROM) were measured on day 1 prior to exercise and also on days 2, 3, 4, 7, 12, and 17.
Results: The CK response and the area under the curve (AUC) analysis for DOMS trended to decrease in the DHA group in comparison to placebo (p=0.0925 and p=0.0536, respectively). Treatment showed no effect on CRP levels. DHA supplementation significantly increased serum DHA by 380% as a proportion of total fatty acids (p<0.0001). Conclusion: This study does not demonstrate convincing benefits of DHA ingestion to recovery from a new resistance exercise program but does suggest a need for further investigation.