As we age there is a decline in muscle mass, muscle strength and endurance. Associated with this is decline in aerobic capacity, and this causes people to become easily fatigued. This happens beginning in the 30s, with rapid deterioration in the mid-60s.
So as we get older, it’s natural for all of us to lose muscle fiber. This is called ’sarcopenia’ which translates into ’muscle-wasting disease’.
I advocate increasing our levels of physical activity as we get older so we maintain muscle fibers. Don’t ever become sedentary or allow a sedentary lifestyle. If this slow-down in activity and hence, muscle metabolism isn’t reversed through changes in diet and exercise, the slide toward sarcopenia begins.
A recent study published in the journal Clinical Nutrition shows that the amino acid leucine may be able to play a role in improving “muscle protein synthesis” and combating the onset of sarcopenia.
The amino acid leucine may help older people synthesize muscle in response to lower protein meals. While increasing protein intake can counter this, barriers including palatability, cost, satiety and habitual practices can inhibit regular protein intake.
Supplementing regular daily meals with a relatively small amount of leucine improves both mixed muscle protein synthesis and anabolic signaling in older adults.
The researchers supplemented meals with leucine at a dose of 12 grams per day for 14 days. Results showed that leucine supplementation increased the rate of protein synthesis, as well as markers of nutrient signaling.
The rationale for the use of a dietary supplement like PhytoMulti by Metagenics makes even more sense.