Exercise and Dietary-Protein as a countermeasure to skeletal muscle weakness: Liverpool Hope University Sarcoenia Ageing Trial (LHU-SAT)

Kirk, Ben and Mooney, Kate and Amirabdollahian, F. and Khaiyat, Omid A. (2019) Exercise and Dietary-Protein as a countermeasure to skeletal muscle weakness: Liverpool Hope University Sarcoenia Ageing Trial (LHU-SAT). Frontiers in Physiology. ISSN 1664-042X

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Objective: To investigate the effects of a 16-week concurrent exercise regimen [resistance exercise (RE) + functional exercise (FE)] in combination with, or without, a leucine-enriched whey protein isolate supplement on muscle strength, physical functioning, aerobic capacity and cardiometabolic health in older adults (≥60 years). Physical activity levels were also evaluated 6 months post-cessation of the intervention. Methods: Forty-six, community-dwelling, previously untrained males and females (age: 68 ±5 years [mean ± SD]; BMI: 27.8 ± 6.2 kg/m2) who completed the trial were initially randomised to one of two independent arms [Exercise n=24 (E); Exercise+Protein n=22 (EP)]. Both arms completed 16 weeks of RE (performed to fatigue) (2 times/week) with FE (1 time/week) on non-consecutive days. Additionally, EP were administered a leucine enriched whey protein supplement (3 times/day) for 16 weeks based on individual body weight (1.5g/kg/day). Results: As a result of dietary supplementation, protein intake increased in EP (~1.2 ± 0.4 to 1.5 ± 0.7g/kg/day) during the intervention. Maximal strength (1RM) values for leg press (E: +39 ± 7kg, p =0.006; EP: +63 ± 7kg, p <0.001), chest press (E: +22 ± 4kg, p<0.001; EP: +21 ± 6kg, p <0.001) and bicep curl (E: +7 ± 0kg, p =0.002; EP: +6 ± 1kg, p=0.008) significantly increased in E and EP respectively, with no differences between arms (p>0.05). Physical functioning in the obstacle course (E: -5.1 ± 6.8s, p<0.001; EP: -2.8 ± 0.8s, p<0.001) and short-physical performance battery scores (E: +0.5 ± 0.5, p =<0.001; EP: +0.4 ± 0.5, p=0.038), and aerobic capacity in the six-minute walk test (E: +37 ± 24m, p=0.014; EP: +36 ± 3m, p =0.005) improved in E and EP respectively, with no differences between arms (p>0.05). No significant change was observed for markers of cardiometabolic health (glycaemic control or blood pressure) (p>0.05). At follow-up, 86% of older adults reported to performing physical activity ≥1 per week. Of those, 61% were still participating in strength and cardiovascular- based exercise. Conclusions: Concurrent exercise (RE + FE) offers a potent method to combat age-related muscle weakness, and our results suggest a high proportion of older adults may continue to exercise unsupervised. However, leucine-enriched whey protein isolate supplementation did not confer any additional benefit in those already consuming ample amounts of dietary protein at trial enrolment. Future trials should utilise a whole-foods approach and investigate the effects in frail and non-frail older adults habitually consuming the RDA of protein, to assess if a higher intake of protein is needed to delay the onset of muscle weakness. Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov as NCT02912130.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information and Comments: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). It is available online from https://www.frontiersin.org/journals/physiology
Keywords: Ageing; Muscle Weakness; Exercise; Dietary-Protein; Leucine
Faculty / Department: Faculty of Science > School of Health Sciences
Depositing User: Omid Khaiyat
Date Deposited: 13 May 2019 12:34
Last Modified: 13 May 2019 12:34
URI: http://hira.hope.ac.uk/id/eprint/2825

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