Mitochondria, Telomeres, Strength Training & What It Means For Something To Qualify As An “Anti-Aging” Activity

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In his excellent article series on anti-aging, anti-aging fitness expert Clarence Bass highlights this study showing that six months of progressive resistance training made the gene expression pattern of aging mitochondria appear significantly younger. 

Muscles can become smaller and weaker with age (a process known as sarcopenia), and evidence suggests that a key part of the decline occurs in a component of muscle cells called the mitochondria, the primary engine of energy production.

From the study, which was done on men at an average age of 70 years old, researchers reported that “…the older individuals were able to improve strength by approximately 50%, to levels that were only 38% less than that of young individuals…”. This means that seniors engaged in weight training closed the strength gap between themselves and their counterparts who were nearly 40 years younger from 59% to 38%, which is an improvement of almost 36% in a mere six months of the study.

Muscle biopsies from the study showed “a remarkable reversal of the expression profile of 179 genes associated with age and exercise training…Genes that were down-regulated with age were correspondingly up-regulated with exercise, while genes that were up-regulated with age, were down-regulated with exercise.”

The researchers summed things up by reporting that “healthy older adults show a gene expression profile in skeletal muscle consistent with mitochondrial dysfunction and associated processes such as cell death, as compared with young individuals. Moreover, following a period of resistance exercise training in older adults, we found that age-associated transcriptome expression changes were reversed, implying a restoration of a youthful expression profile.”

So when it comes to mitochondria, weight training reversed nearly 40 years of aging!

But exercise doesn’t only affect mitochondria.  Two more studies show how exercise protects DNA from the wear and tear of aging, and how the addition of fast-twitch muscle fibers precipitate fat loss and improve metabolic function – primarily by acting on telomeres.

Telomeres cap the DNA chromosomes in your cells and protect these chromosomes from damage. As you age, telomeres progressively wear and shorten from repeated cell division, oxidative stress, inflammation, and other metabolic processes, eventually leaving the cell’s chromosomes unprotected. When the caps are completely eroded or disappear, the wear and tear begins to cut into your genes, causing cells to become damaged and discarded as you grow older.

In this next study, scientists measured telomeres in twins to gauge the effect of exercise on aging, hypothesizing that “telomere dynamics might chronicle the cumulative burden of oxidative stress and inflammation and, as such, serve as an index of biological age” and that “physical activity level may have an [independent] effect on telomere attrition”.

They studied 2401 twins (2152 women and 249 men, aged 18 to 81), used questionnaires on physical activity level, smoking status, disease status, and socioeconomic status, and extracted DNA from blood samples.

So what did they find in this study on twins?

Telomere length decreased with age. No surprises there. But both the women and men who were physically active had longer telomeres than those who were sedentary, even after adjusting for the influence of age, weight, disease, socioeconomic status, and smoking.

In addition, the study participants who spent more than 3 hours each week engaged in vigorous physical activity (such as lifting weights) had longer telomeres than subjects 10 years younger, suggesting that individuals who eschew placing a vigorous load on their body may wind up biologically older by 10 years.

Obviously, since they were studying twins, these differences weren’t due to genes, but rather due to the lifestyle factor of exercise. When one twin exercised significantly more than the other, they had longer, more durable telomeres.

In the next study, researchers found that replacing slow-twitch type I muscle fibers with stronger and faster type II muscle fibers produced a significant reduction of fat mass and insulin resistance. Endurance training develops slow-twitch fibers, but strength training builds fast-twitch fibers.

For this study, researchers used a genetically engineered mouse that contained a muscle-growth regulating gene called Akt1 that could be turned on and off by the researchers. Activating Akt1 caused the mice to grow type II fibers, without exercise (important to note, since mice don’t really lift weights that well, even when commanded to by scientists in white lab coats). When the Akt1 gene was turned on, the mice took on the characteristics of a lean and powerful sprinter or weight lifter, and when the gene was turned off, the mice reverted to a predominance of type I muscle fibers, along with becoming more obese and insulin resistant (notably, this was without an actual change in diet!).

The researchers reported that “remarkably, type II muscle growth was associated with an overall reduction in body mass, due to a large decrease in fat mass. In addition, blood tests showed that these mice became metabolically normal [with no insulin resistance]. This work shows that type 2 muscle just doesn’t allow you to pick up heavy objects, it is also important in controlling whole body metabolism. It appears that the increase in type 2 muscle fiber orchestrates changes in the body through its ability to communicate with other tissues”.

Beyond the age of 30, we lose approximately six pounds of muscle mass per decade, and these findings indicate that interventions designed to increase skeletal muscle mass (such as weight training) may prove to be critical weapons in the fight against obesity and obesity-related ailments, including diabetes, heart disease, stroke, hypertension, and cancer.

The key point here of course is that weight training, due to it’s recruitment of type II muscle fibers, appears to be more effective than cardio, endurance and aerobics for fat loss, weight control, essentially converting the cells into a fat-burning machine.

Finally, yet another study on strength training effects on telomere length in human skeletal muscle looked into reports of a phenomenon of abnormally short telomeres in skeletal muscle of athletes who had overtraining and exercise-associated fatigue. This important study looked into the question of whether long-term hard exercise might have deleterious effects on muscle telomeres. So, using muscle biopsies, the researchers compared telomere length of a group of power lifters who had trained for an average of eight years against that of a group of healthy, active subjects who had no history of strength training.

There was absolutely no abnormal shortening of telomeres in the power lifters. As a matter of fact, telomere lengths in the power lifters were significantly higher than those of the control group, and telomere length was positively correlated to the power lifters’ individual records in the squat and deadlift!

These results show for the first time that long-term weight training is not associated with an abnormal shortening of skeletal muscle telomere length, and that the heavier the load you put on your muscles, the longer your telomeres will tend to be.

Written by: Ben Greenfield

Article Source: https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/2016/05/the-fittest-old-people/

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Turns out protein quality matters when it comes to building muscle

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Internationally venerated skeletal muscle scientist takes a critical look at how protein quality impacts muscle mass and strength gains with resistance exercise

Attention Crossfit®, HIIT, Orange Theory® and absolutely anyone who cares about maintaining muscle mass – Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Skeletal Muscle Health, Dr. Stuart M. Phillips of MacMaster University, reasons that the quality of protein you consume for muscle building with resistance training may be more important than you realize. In a recent article in Nutrition and Metabolism, Dr. Phillips reviewed the current science to examine the effects of the quality of supplemental protein on changes in muscle mass, strength and body composition when combined with strength training. His comprehensive inquiry suggests that based on the new proposed method to evaluate protein quality using its indispensable (or essential) amino acid composition and its digestibility, protein sources that provide leucine (an essential amino acid) – such as whey protein – are the strongest determinant of muscle protein synthesis and likely muscle growth.

“My assessment of the data on protein supplementation and resistance exercise reveals that the amount of leucine in a protein supplement has the greatest impact on muscle protein synthesis,” said, Dr. Phillips. “Leucine is not only a building block for protein, but a trigger for working muscles to synthesize more protein. In essence, it turns on muscle protein synthesis like a light switch so that over time, there could be greater gains in lean body mass and strength, and subsequently, body composition improvements.”

Proteins with the greatest content of leucine include whey protein isolate or concentrate. Whey protein is a milk protein that is considered high-quality due to its amino acid profile and high score for digestibility. Based on the culmination of data inspecting protein types and muscle protein synthesis, whey protein rated higher than other protein sources such as soy, pea or rice.

“The outcome of this review isn’t just applicable to strength trainers,” Dr. Phillips notes. “As we age, muscle loss becomes prevalent if we don’t thwart the decline. Leucine-rich whey protein supplementation, combined with resistance exercise, may be one way to help preserve muscle mass throughout the lifespan.”

While more research is warranted to further characterize proteins based on their quality, digestibility and amino acid profile, as well as to identify their impact on the aging population – at this point, consumers should reach for a leucine-containing protein supplement, like whey, to maximize gains from hard workouts.

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To read the complete review: http://nutritionandmetabolism.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12986-016-0124-8

About the Whey Protein Research Consortium

The Whey Protein Research Consortium (WPRC) is an international partnership of dairy cooperatives, associations, processors and multinational companies dedicated to working together to discover and share whey’s unique health benefits through scientific evidence since 2003. The WPRC uniquely serves the dairy industry by expanding global usage of whey protein through the research and amplification of its health benefits. The goal of the integrated research efforts is to develop a body of knowledge that establishes measurable whey protein health and wellness benefits, creating a strong foundation for the development of scientific substantiation to support new health, qualified health and structure function claims.

This study was funded and supported by the Canadian Institutes for Health Research, the National Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada, and the Canada Research Chairs program.

Article Source: https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2016-10/pc-top102116.php

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Cycling Only 10 Min After Workouts Promotes Recovery as Effectively, Cheaper and More Conveniently Than Ice Baths

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Cold water immersion and active recovery are common post-exercise recovery treatments you’ve read about before at theSuppVersity. With the publication of the latest study from theQueensland University of Technology, this is yet the first article to discuss a comparison of both recovery methods in a nine trained male individuals – a study that shows “that cold water immersion is no more effective than active recovery for minimizing the inflammatory and stress responses in muscle after resistance exercise” (Peake. 2016).

Just like the previously reported anti-adaptive effects of ice-baths (yes, they will impair your gains, the study at hand adds to the accumulating evidence that cold water immersion, one of the most commonly used post-workout recovery strategies, is everything but a gold standard.

But how do Peake et al. know that? Well, the researchers compared the effects of cold water immersion versus active recovery on inflammatory cells, pro-inflammatory cytokines, neurotrophins and heat shock proteins (HSPs) in skeletal muscle after a standardized intense resistance exercise.

“The resistance training sessions for the two experimental trials were identical and involvedsingle-leg exercises such as 45° leg press (six sets of 8–12 repetitions), single-leg squats (three sets of 12 repetitions), knee extensions (six sets of 8–12 repetitions), and walking lunges (three sets of 12 repetitions). The total duration of the session was ~45 min” (Peake. 2016).

Five minutes after the workout, the subjects either jumped into an inflatable (ice-)bath (iCool iBody, iCool, Miami, Australia) for 10 min (both legs immersed in water up to the waist) or they performed 10 min of active recovery at a self-selected low intensity (on average a meager 36.6 ± 13.8 W) on a stationary cycle ergometer (Wattbike, Nottingham, UK).

Figure 1: Post-exercise changes in CD66b+ neutrophil infiltration, CD68+ macrophage infiltration, and MAC1 and CD163 mRNA expression. Data are presented as the change in the median +/- interquartile range for neutrophils and CD163 mRNA, and the geometric mean +/- 95% confidence interval for macrophages and MAC1 mRNA. ACT, active recovery; CWI, cold water immersion. n = 9. * P < 0.05 versus pre-exercise value (Peake. 2016).

Muscle biopsies were collected from the exercised leg before, 2, 24, and 48 h after
exercise in both trial to access the intramuscular neutrophil and macrophage counts, as well as the inflammatory markers MAC1 and CD163 mRNA, IL1, TNF, IL6, CCL2, CCL4, CXCL2, IL8 and LIF mRNA expression (P<0.05); and the analysis of this data, as well as creatine kinase, subjective feelings of hyperalgesia, the expression of NGF and GDNF mRNA and the levels of B-crystallin and HSP70 showed no difference between the two recovery treatments.

Even simple compression socks will cost you $25+ If you want a complete “compression suit” consisting of shirt, tights, and more, you will probably have to spend roughly $200. Against that background you may be happy to hear that there’s some scientific backup that the money you spend could not be wasted.

Compression garments – do they help? No, they usually don’t look sexy, but they are the latest craze among recovery modalities. The question whether they just sell, or even work, has now been addressed in a systematic review with meta-analysis by Marqués-Jiménez (2016); a paper that found “conclusive evidence increasing power and strength”, “conclusive evidence reducing perceived muscle soreness and swelling” but “no clear evidence of decreased lactate or creatine kinase” and “little evidence of decreased lactate dehydrogenase”. Overall, the existing evidence does therefore suggest that “the application of compression clothing may aid in the recovery of exercise induced muscle damage, although the findings need corroboration” (Marqués-Jiménez. 2016).

I guess, that’s, figuratively speaking, an accolade for the simplest recovery technique there is: low(est) intensity exercise, a recovery modality of which previous studies have shown that it will (a) significantly reduce your blood lactate concentration after various activities (Rontoyannis. 1988) and (b) increase your performance after workouts such as the parallel squat workout in a Y2k study by Corder et al. (2000), the HIIT workout in Connolly, et al. (2003), the supra-maximal exercise tests in Spierer, et al (2004 | see Figure 2), the swimming protocols in Toubekis’ 2008 study, or the 2007 resistance training study by Anna Mika et al. who concluded that “the most appropriate and effective recovery mode after dynamic muscle fatigue involves light, active exercises, such as cycling with minimal resistance” (Mika. 2007).

Figure 2: The 2004 study by Spierer et al. is also interesting, because it shows that the benefits of active recovery on the performance and perceived fatigue after supra-maximal exercise tests may vary according to the training status of the study subjects; with less trained or simply sedentary subjects benefitting more (Spierer. 2004).

Now, Peake et al. are certainly right, when they point out that their “findings indicate that cold water immersion is no more effective than active recovery for reducing inflammation or cellular stress in muscle after a bout of resistance exercise,” there’s one thing that will have to be done in the future: a comparison of active vs. ice-tub recovery on the longitudinal adaptational response (VO2max, power, strength, hypertrophy) to various training modalities. After all, any modulation of the post-exercise inflammatory response, be it via cold water immersion or light exercise, could exert detrimental effects on your “gainz” (in the broadest sense of the word) – the only pertinent study by Yamagashi, however, shows that this is not the case and using an active recovery protocol at 40% of V̇O2peak significantly enhances, not impairs, the endurance adaptations to HIT (Yamagashi. 2016).

SuppVersity Classic: “Cupping for Pain, Health & Performance | Must Be Good, if Phelps Does it, Right? Let’s See What the 100+ Studies Say” – The “cups” come in various forms and sizes… and no, there’s no meta-analysis yet that can tell you what the optimal size and form for the treatment of a given problem would be

Bottom line: If you’ve been thinking about buying an ice tub, forget it. There’s, as Anthony Barnett pointed out in his 2006 review, a profound lack of evidence of positive effects of current recovery modalities such as massage therapy, contrast temperature water immersion, hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT), stretching and EMS. Eventually, the time and money you spend on any of them between your workouts may thus be wasted – plus: a simple 10-minute ergometer ride at an extremely low exercise intensity can likely do the same as any of the en-vogue but costly recovery techniques, devices and modalities.

With the recently published PhD study by Yamagashi, there’s also initial evidence that active recovery strategies won’t, as it has been shown for ice baths, impair the adaptational VO2max response to high-intensity exercise…

Whether that’s also the case for resistance training and the corresponding training goals hypertrophy and strength, however, will have to be elucidated in future long(er)-term studies in trained and untrained individuals.

References:

  • Barnett, Anthony. “Using recovery modalities between training sessions in elite athletes.” Sports medicine 36.9 (2006): 781-796.
  • Connolly, Declan AJ, Kevin M. Brennan, and Christie D. Lauzon. “Effects of active versus passive recovery on power output during repeated bouts of short term, high intensity exercise.” J Sports Sci Med 2.2 (2003): 47-51.
  • Corder, Keith P., et al. “Effects of Active and Passive Recovery Conditions on Blood Lactate, Rating of Perceived Exertion, and Performance During Resistance Exercise.” The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research 14.2 (2000): 151-156.
  • Marqués-Jiménez, Diego, et al. “Are compression garments effective for the recovery of exercise-induced muscle damage? A systematic review with meta-analysis.” Physiology & behavior 153 (2016): 133-148.
  • Mika, Anna, et al. “Comparison of recovery strategies on muscle performance after fatiguing exercise.” American journal of physical medicine & rehabilitation 86.6 (2007): 474-481.
  • Peake, Jonathan M., et al. “The effects of cold water immersion and active recovery on inflammation and cell stress responses in human skeletal muscle after resistance exercise.” The Journal of Physiology (2016).
  • Rontoyannis, George P. “Lactate elimination from the blood during active recovery.” Journal of sports medicine and physical fitness 28.2 (1988): 115-123.
  • Spierer, D. K., et al. “Effects of active vs. passive recovery on work performed during serial supramaximal exercise tests.” International journal of sports medicine 25.02 (2004): 109-114.
  • Toubekis, Argyris G., et al. “Swimming performance after passive and active recovery of various durations.” Int J Sports Physiol Perform 3.3 (2008): 375-386.
  • Yamagishi, Takaki. “Role of active and passive recovery in adaptations to high intensity training.” (2016).

Article Source: http://suppversity.blogspot.ca/2016/10/cycling-only-10-min-after-workouts.html

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Do Men Need More Protein Than Women?

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It’s often assumed that the nutritional requirements of men and women are almost identical. Women lose iron through menstrual bleeding and therefore may require somewhat more iron than men. Some might also argue that women need more calcium and/or vitamin D, since they have a higher risk of developing osteoporosis. Finally, women may require more of certain nutrients during pregnancy. But other than that, not much attention is given to gender-related differences in nutritional needs. This may be an oversight, as there is some evidence to suggest that men and women have different requirements when it comes to the intake of several important nutrients, one of which is protein.

Five pieces of evidence support the hypothesis that men require more protein per kilogram of body weight than women

Before we begin, let’s point out the obvious so there’s no confusion: Women need to consume fewer grams of protein per day than men to stay in nitrogen balance, because they tend to have a lower body weight. This is not controversial, and not what this article is about. Rather, the hypothesis of this article is that women require less protein per kilogram of body weight than men. In other words, even if you have a man and a woman who weigh exactly the same and have similar physical activity habits, the woman will still require somewhat less protein.

Five different pieces of evidence support this theory…

1. The evolutionary evidence

Throughout the evolution of our genus, Homo, males probably ate more protein than females (on average). Hunter-gatherer societies are characterized by a division of labour: the men go out hunting and scavenging, while the women dig for tubers, collect berries, and take care of children. This is not to say that the men never participate in the latter activities, or that it’s unheard of for forager women to go out on a hunt; but in general, it’s safe to say that there is a marked gender-related difference in terms of the type of labour performed. This is likely how it’s been for millions of years, and it’s still the way things are done today. The Hadza, for example, are known to adhere to this practice.

The men of these types of forager communities will certainly bring back meat – acquired during a hunt – to the camp, where the women and children await; however, they also tend to consume some of it by themselves. And even if they bring it back to camp, they may end up eating more of it than the women, particularly if the women have been out gathering and eating tubers and other plant foods all day.

It’s obviously difficult to say anything with certainty regarding exactly what our primal ancestors ate. That said, there is a lot we do know. My belief, based on everything I’ve read and seen, is that Paleolithic men probably ate more meat, and hence more protein, than women. Perhaps needless to say, these are average values. There would have been variations between different hunter-gatherer bands, depending on location, climate, etc.

What this means is that the diets that conditioned the genome of the male members of our genusHomo likely contained somewhat more protein than the diets that conditioned the genetic make-up of the female members of our genus. Hence, men may have evolved to require somewhat more protein than women.

2. Differences in body composition between men and women

Women have (on average) less lean body mass than men, in proportion to total body weight, and therefore require less protein to maintain a stable level of muscle mass. This point is a continuation from the last section, in the sense that the male members of our genus developed more muscular bodies than the females, in part because they were more physically active, engaging in activities (e.g., running) that require muscular strength.

In a Paleolithic environment, being physically fit was a definite advantage in terms of survival and reproduction, particularly for the males, who were involved in strenuous activities such as hunting. Hence, natural selection would have favored individuals that were strong and physically fit.

3. Gender-related differences in protein metabolism during and after exercise

There are differences between the genders in the metabolic response to exercise. Both male and female athletes require more protein than sedentary people; however, the increase in protein requirement may not be identical between the two sexes. A 2000 paper indicates that the maximal increase (above the level needed by a sedentary person) is approximately 100% for elite male athletes and approximately 50-60% for elite female athletes (1).

Furthermore, females show a smaller increase in lean body mass following acute creatine loading as compared to males (1), and may catabolize less protein than men consequent to endurance exercise (2). Also, perhaps needless to say, men build muscle at a faster rate than women and therefore require more protein to recover optimally from resistance training.

4. Nitrogen balance studies

Nitrogen balance studies indicate that women might have a lower protein requirement than men (3, 4, 5). For example, a 2014 meta-analysis of nitrogen balance studies found that “there was significant difference in the natural logarithm of protein requirement when comparing data from males and females, with resulting values of 108.85 mg N/kg·d and 97.51 mg N/kg·d, respectively” (4).

It should be noted that nitrogen balance studies may underestimate human protein requirements (5). Nevertheless, nitrogen balance analyses do give us some insights into what constitutes the minimal level of protein intake needed to avoid a deficiency. Also, they can be useful for determining differences in protein turnover between men and women.

Since men tend to carry more muscle mass than females, in proportion to total body weight, and have a somewhat different metabolic machinery, it’s not really a surprise that nitrogen balance studies suggest that men require slightly more protein per kilogram of body weight than women to avoid a negative nitrogen balance. The 2014 paper quoted above indicates that the difference isn’t huge, but it’s definitely there.

5. Observations and anecdotal reports

My experience and observations suggest that men crave and need more meat and protein than women. I’m sure others have observed the same. Observational studies and anecdotal reports are not the strongest form of evidence, but they certainly shouldn’t be dismissed as insignificant. I don’t think it’s just a cultural thing that we look upon a steak of meat as “man food”, whereas salads and other plant-based dishes are often associated with the opposite sex.

One of the things I’ve noticed when living with women is that they don’t seem to have the same craving for meat as men do. Whereas some men, including myself, seem to deteriorate, both physically and mentally, on a low-protein diet, women seem to have fewer problems with eating a mostly plant-based diet. This is not to say that men need huge amounts of meat every day to function optimally, or that women barely need any protein at all. All I’m saying is that men in general seem to have a stronger craving for meat than women do.

What does this mean for you?

In my mind, there’s no doubt that the vast majority of people will benefit from eating more protein than what the dietary guidelines, which are based on nitrogen balance studies, recommend. This goes for both men and women. Protein can help you lose weight, build lean muscle, curb undesirable food cravings, and combat chronic disease.

For optimal results, include moderate amounts of high-quality protein in every meal and derive at least 20% of your total calories from this macronutrient. The exact intake level that is perfect for you depends on several factors, such as your gender and physical activity level and the inflammatory status of your body. If you’re a female, you may require somewhat less protein than if you are a male.

If you are healthy and know how to listen to the signals your body is sending you, the best tip may simply be to listen to your body, and let your appetite guide you towards an appropriate intake of protein.

Written By: Eirik  Article Source: http://darwinian-medicine.com/do-men-need-more-protein-than-women/

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Vitamin D3 supplementation helps women build muscle, avoid falls even after menopause

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The benefits of vitamin D supplementation for postmenopausal women have been widely debated. But a new study from Sao Paulo, Brazil, now documents that vitamin D supplementation can significantly increase muscle strength and reduce the loss of body muscle mass in women as late as 12+ years after menopause. The study results will be presented at the 2015 Annual Meeting of The North American Menopause Society (NAMS), which begins September 30 in Las Vegas.

Vitamin D deficiency is a common problem in postmenopausal women worldwide, creating muscle weakness and a greater tendency for falling. The double-blind, placebo-controlled trial was conducted over a nine-month period. Muscle mass was estimated by total-body DXA (dual energy X-ray absorptiometry), as well as by handgrip strength and through a chair-rising test.

At the end of the trial, the women receiving the supplements demonstrated a significant increase (+25.3%) in muscle strength, while those receiving the placebo actually lost an average of 6.8% of muscle mass. Women not receiving Vitamin D supplements were also nearly two times as likely to fall.

“We concluded that the supplementation of Vitamin D alone provided significant protection against the occurrence of sarcopenia, which is a degenerative loss of skeletal muscle, says Dr. L.M. Cangussu, one of the lead authors of the study from the Botucatu Medical School at Sao Paulo State University.

“While this study is unlikely to decide the debate over Vitamin D, it provides further evidence to support the use of vitamin D supplements by postmenopausal women in an effort to reduce frailty and an increased risk of falling,” says NAMS Executive Director Wulf H. Utian, MD, PhD, DSc(Med).

Article Source: http://www.stonehearthnewsletters.com/vitamin-d3-supplementation-helps-women-build-muscle-avoid-falls-even-after-menopause/menopause/

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Scientists challenge recommendation that men with more muscle need more protein

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Sports nutrition recommendations may undergo a significant shift after research from the University of Stirling has found individuals with more muscle mass do not need more protein after resistance exercise.

Health and exercise scientists from Scotland’s University for Sporting Excellence found no difference in the muscle growth response to protein after a full body workout between larger and smaller participants.

Kevin Tipton, Professor of Sport, Health and Exercise Science in the Faculty of Health Sciences and Sport, said: “There is a widely-held assumption that larger athletes need more protein, with nutrition recommendations often given in direct relation to body mass.

“In our study, participants completed a bout of whole-body resistance exercise, where earlier studies — on which protein recommendations are based — examined the response to leg-only exercise. This difference suggests the amount of muscle worked in a single session has a bigger impact on the amount of protein needed afterwards, than the amount of muscle in the body.”

Experts also found participants’ muscles were able to grow and recover from exercise better after a higher dose of protein.

Consuming 40 grams of protein after exercise was more effective at stimulating muscle growth than 20 grams. This increase occurred irrespective of the size of the participants.

Professor Tipton continued: “Until now the consensus among leading sports nutritionists, including the American College of Sports Medicine and the British Nutrition Foundation, is that weightlifters do not need more than around 25 grams of protein after exercise to maximally stimulate the muscle’s ability to grow.

“In order for nutritionists to recommend the correct amount of protein we first need to consider specific demands of the workout, regardless of athletes’ size. This throws commonly held recommendations into question and suggests the amount of protein our muscles need after exercise may be dependent on the type of workout performed. These results are limited to younger, trained men so we may see different results with other groups, such as older individuals or females digesting different amounts of protein.”

Young, resistance-trained males were recruited for the study and divided into two groups, one with lower lean body mass of less than 65 kilograms and one with higher lean body mass of more than 70 kilograms.

Each volunteer participated in two trials where they consumed protein after resistance exercise. In one trial participants consumed 20 grams of whey protein and in the second, they consumed 40 grams of whey protein after exercise. Scientists measured the muscle’s ability to grow at an increased rate with metabolic tracers and muscle biopsies.

Article Source: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2016-08/uos-scr082216.php

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Lighter weights just as effective as heavier weights to gain muscle, build strength

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New research from McMaster University is challenging traditional workout wisdom, suggesting that lifting lighter weights many times is as efficient as lifting heavy weights for fewer repetitions.

It is the latest in a series of studies that started in 2010, contradicting the decades-old message that the best way to build muscle is to lift heavy weights.

“Fatigue is the great equalizer here,” says Stuart Phillips, senior author on the study and professor in the Department of Kinesiology. “Lift to the point of exhaustion and it doesn’t matter whether the weights are heavy or light.”

Researchers recruited two groups of men for the study—all of them experienced weight lifters—who followed a 12-week, whole-body protocol. One group lifted lighter weights (up to 50 per cent of maximum strength) for sets ranging from 20 to 25 repetitions. The other group lifted heavier weights (up to 90 per cent of maximum strength) for eight to 12 repetitions. Both groups lifted to the point of failure.

Researchers analyzed muscle and blood samples and found gains in muscle mass and muscle fibre size, a key measure of strength, were virtually identical.

“At the point of fatigue, both groups would have been trying to maximally activate their muscle fibres to generate force,” says Phillips, who conducted the work with graduate students and co-authors Rob Morton and Sara Oikawa.

While researchers stress that elite athletes are unlikely to adopt this training regime, it is an effective way to get stronger, put on muscle and generally improve health.

“For the ‘mere mortal’ who wants to get stronger, we’ve shown that you can take a break from lifting heavy weights and not compromise any gains,” says Phillips. “It’s also a new choice which could appeal to the masses and get people to take up something they should be doing for their health.”

Another key finding was that none of the strength or muscle growth were related to testosterone or growth hormone, which many believe are responsible for such gains.

“It’s a complete falsehood that the short-lived rise in testosterone or growth hormone is a driver of muscle growth,” says Morton. “It’s just time to end that kind of thinking.”

Researchers suggest, however, that more work remains to be done in this area, including what underlying mechanisms are at work and in what populations does this sort of program work.

The findings are published online in the Journal of Applied Physiology.

More information: Robert W. Morton et al, Neither load nor systemic hormones determine resistance training-mediated hypertrophy or strength gains in resistance-trained young men, Journal of Applied Physiology (2016).DOI: 10.1152/japplphysiol.00154.2016

Journal reference: Journal of Applied Physiology search and more infowebsite

Provided by: McMaster University

Article Source: http://medicalxpress.com/news/2016-07-lighter-weights-effective-heavier-gain.html

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