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RECENT STUDY AIMS TO HELP OLDER ADULTS MAINTAIN MUSCLE STRENGTH AS THEY AGE

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University Researcher Believes A Certain Vitamin Is The Key

Iowa State University researcher and kinesiology professor Rick Sharp believes that sarcopenia in older adults and the elderly can be halted, if not reversed, with the help of a vitamin.

Sarcopenia is one of the natural processes of aging where a person gradually loses muscle strength and function. A healthy and regular dose of Vitamin D combined with resistance training can help older adults and perhaps the elderly keep the progression of sarcopenia at bay.

It’s also a growing public health concern because of the risk for falls, injury and decline in quality of life.

For his test, Sharp is looking at adults with low Vitamin D levels.

Elderly couple standing in an observation post.The trial is designed to build on previous studies, which show that the supplement HMB reduces muscle loss. HMB, or b-hydroxy-b-methylbutyrate, is a natural body building compound discovered by Iowa State researchers.

Researchers determined older adults who didn’t respond as well to the supplement had something in common – lower levels of vitamin D.

Sharp states that no amount of supplements can stop sarcopenia. Physical activity should also be part of the equation if we are to remain physically fit as we age.

“There’s no substitute for physical activity. We have to stay physically active through the lifespan,” Sharp said. “We think nutrition is a key component in helping to ensure that older adults get a better response from exercise.”

The study, which has not yet begun as of this writing, will involve strict monitoring of participants within a year. Data will then be analyzed for several years before a conclusion is reached.

Now, Sharp and his team still needs a total of 160 subjects – 80 men and 80 women – to get the research rolling.

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