Feeding long-distance migration with an Omega-3 dietBy Health News Team • Apr 3rd, 2009 • Category: Diet, True Health News
A nutritional health supplement may be linked to increased aerobic capacity, according to Canadian researchers who studied the compound’s effects on migratory birds who travel from the Arctic to South America each year.
Omega-3 fatty acids have been linked to a decrease in the risk for coronary heart disease, but lead author Jean-Michael Weber was interested that they constituted a large portion of the sandpiper’s diet when it a two-week pit stop at the Bay of Fundy to consume large amounts of Omega-3-rich mud shrimp.
He tested the effects of the fatty acids on bobwhite quails, which don’t have the same aerobic capacity, over a span of six weeks.
When the researchers measured the quails’ pectoral muscles, he found that they were able to process oxygen by 58 to 90 percent, approaching the same levels achieved by the sandpiper.
Although testing of gene expression at the molecular level has not shown specific reasons why the change occurs, Weber is hopeful that further studies will strengthen the link between fitness and omega-3 levels.