Preventing Age-Related Muscle Loss

Promising research is noted at EurekAlert: "Muscle in adults is constantly being built and broken down. As young adults we keep the two processes in balance, but when we age breakdown starts to win. However, adding the amino acid leucine to the diet of old individuals can set things straight again. ... After the age of 40, humans start loosing muscle at around 0.5-2% per year. ... The team of researchers believe that the age-related problem results from defective inhibition of ubiquitin-proteasome dependent proteoloysis, a complex degradative machinery that breaks down contractile muscle protein, and that leucine supplementation can fully restore correct function." It's good that a diet change could potentially patch this issue, but it is likely that a real fix - and greater understanding of biochemistry - will come from the follow-on research that this discovery inspires.

Link: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2005-12/bpl-fo120205.php

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