In addition to combating the effects of rheumatoid arthritis, omega-3s may be able to provide assistance in increasing the body's range of motion. When a person moves, the actual action is the result of a contraction between different cells of a muscle, which are called sarcomeres. These sarcomeres rely on an abundance of nutrients, lipids, and calcium to function properly and appropriately. Take a look at how omega-3s like krill oil can help improve muscle function and range of motion.
Lipids are considered to be one of the basic building blocks of all types of cells, due to their presence in cell membranes. However, lipids form storage spaces for calcium in the muscles as sarcoplasmic reticulum, explains Medscape. When the pulse from a nerve signal meets with muscle tissue, the resulting changes in polarity within the individual sarcomeres results in the release of calcium from these specialized sac-like pockets within the sarcomere. These pockets are made up almost entirely of essential fatty acids. If these pockets become damaged or fail to properly close, an adequate supply of calcium may not be present. As a result, the muscle function of the individual sarcomere is halted, which further cascades into an additional set of problems for range of motion and reduced mobility.
As explained by Psychology Today, omega-3s make up the majority of glial cells and myelin sheets in the central nervous system. When the myelin sheaths become damaged or unable to function, the action potential, another name for the nerve impulse, has a greater chance of becoming lost between the origination and the end result. In other words, although the brain thinks the nerve signal has been sent, the actual signal never reaches the destination. In this case, the destination would be triggering the release of calcium within the sarcomere. As a result, the muscle is unable to move, or any movement may be severely limited from what the original nerve impulse specified. This is a common explanation for those with multiple sclerosis.
Multiple sclerosis is the type of disorder in which the immune system attacks the myelin sheaths in the brain and throughout the central nervous system. Therefore, preliminary results may surmise omega-3s may actually provide additional benefit to other types of muscular degenerative diseases, such as rhabdomyolysis, multiple sclerosis, and even muscular dystrophy. However, final results for these studies have yet to be released.
The two primary types of omega-3 fatty acids within krill oil, EPA and DHA, have been shown to significantly reduce inflammation and reduce inflammatory markers. This means the presence of these compounds actually helps to prevent the release of additional inflammatory agents within the skin such as IL-10, TGF-beta, and other inflammatory hormones. Furthermore, omega-3 fatty acids help to reduce the presence and expression of proteins that have been shown to contribute to the development of osteoarthritis. As explained by Bodybuilding.com, some studies have also revealed DHA and EPA help to reduce the inflammatory aspects of cell metabolism within cartilage, which cushions the joints.
From preventing the premature onset of osteoarthritis to reducing the actual problems with an individual muscle cell, omega-3s work to help ensure the muscles remain in motion. By understanding these actions and how they relate to potentially deadly neuromuscular disorders, you can help reduce your risk for developing muscular disorders that inhibit your ability to stay in motion.