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Fat molecule 'could play a leading role in muscle deterioration in older adults'

Fat molecule 'could play a leading role in muscle deterioration in older adults'
1st November 2012

A new study carried out in the US has found a fat molecule could play a key role in muscle deterioration in older adults.

Research conducted at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University found a fat molecule known as ceramide might play a leading role in the deterioration of muscle, with ten men in their mid-seventies and nine men in their early-20s taking part in the study.

Roger Fielding, senior author and director of the Nutrition, Exercise Physiology and Sarcopenia Laboratory, stated increased storage of ceramide witnessed in the older men, which is exacerbated by the presence of saturated fat, "has a part in weakening the anabolic signalling that responds to resistance exercises and helps with the assembly of new muscle".

Mr Fielding, who is also a professor at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University and at Tufts University School of Medicine, added even limited exercise can help older adults to maintain and build some new muscle.

According to a study recently conducted by the Women's Royal Voluntary Service, many older adults stay indoors due to a fear of falling.

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