Whey protein, amino acids, and Vitamin D supplementation with physical activity increases fat-free mass and strength, functionality, and quality of life and decreases inflammation in sarcopenic elderly

Mariangela Rondanelli, Catherine Klersy, Gilles Terracol, Jacopo Talluri, Roberto Maugeri, Davide Guido, Milena A. Faliva, Bruno S. Solerte, Marisa Fioravanti, Henry Lukaski, Simone Perna

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background: Interventions to attenuate the adverse effects of agerelated loss of skeletal muscle and function include increased physical activity and nutritional supplementation. Objective: This study tested the hypothesis that nutritional supplementation with whey protein (22 g), essential amino acids (10.9 g, including 4 g leucine), and vitamin D [2.5 mg (100 IU)] concurrent with regular, controlled physical activity would increase fat-free mass, strength, physical function, and quality of life, and reduce the risk of malnutrition in sarcopenic elderly persons. Design: A total of 130 sarcopenic elderly people (53 men and 77 women; mean age: 80.3 y) participated in a 12-wk randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled supplementation trial. All participants concurrently took part in a controlled physical activity program. We examined body composition with dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry, muscle strength with a handgrip dynamometer, and blood biochemical indexes of nutritional and health status, and evaluated global nutritional status, physical function, and quality of life before and after the 12 wk of intervention. Results: Compared with physical activity and placebo, supplementation plus physical activity increased fat-free mass (1.7-kg gain, P <0.001), relative skeletal muscle mass (P = 0.009), android distribution of fat (P = 0.021), handgrip strength (P = 0.001), standardized summary scores for physical components (P = 0.030), activities of daily living (P = 0.001), mini nutritional assessment (P = 0.003), and insulin-like growth factor I (P = 0.002), and lowered C-reactive protein (P = 0.038). Conclusion: Supplementation with whey protein, essential amino acids, and vitamin D, in conjunction with age-appropriate exercise, not only boosts fat-free mass and strength but also enhances other aspects that contribute to well-being in sarcopenic elderly.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)830-840
Number of pages11
JournalAmerican Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Volume103
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 2016

Keywords

  • Amino acids
  • Dietary supplement
  • Elderly
  • Fat-free mass
  • Insulin-like growth factor I
  • Relative skeletal muscle mass
  • Sarcopenia
  • Vitamin D
  • Whey protein

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

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