Natural Products Insider

JAN-FEB 2019

INSIDER is the leading information source for marketers, manufacturers and formulators of dietary supplements, healthy foods and cosmeceuticals. Since 1997, INSIDER has been serving the needs of the global nutrition industry.

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32 INSIDER January/February 2019 Sarcopenia, the loss of skeletal muscle mass that accompanies aging, is an inevitability for most people, but the severity of muscle loss varies. "Starting at age 40, adults can lose up to 8 percent of their muscle mass per decade. This rate can double by the age of 70," said Suzette Pereira, research scientist at Abbott, a leader in nutrition science behind brands that include Pedialyte ® , Ensure ® and PediaSure ® . "The good news is, age-related muscle loss can be prevented or reversed with exercise and proper nutrition, including protein." Maintaining proper exercise is surprisingly not the biggest struggle for older adults. "Many don't know that as you get older, your body requires more protein to maintain muscle, yet research from Abbott and The Ohio State University using National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey [NHANES] data shows more than one in three adults over the age of 50 still aren't getting the protein they need daily," 1 she continued. Protein, especially whey, has robust clinical support demonstrating its ability to stimulate muscle-protein synthesis. 2 A review published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition and supported by Nutrition 21 demonstrated that amylopectin chromium complex (Velositol ® ) in addition to whey protein improves muscle response time. 3 HMB "While protein will always be critical for muscle health since it provides the building blocks for muscle, one ingredient that has been extensively studied is HMB, also known as beta-hydroxy-beta-methyl butyrate," Pereira explained. "Research shows it also helps adults who want to maintain their muscle or are recovering from muscle loss following illness, injury or surgery. HMB reduces muscle breakdown, especially when your body is under stress—like from an illness or injury—that leads to muscle loss." HMB, a leucine metabolite, has been found capable of attenuating muscle decline in healthy older adults during complete bed rest. 4 While the body produces HMB when it breaks down the amino acid leucine found in protein-rich foods, it is hard to maintain the right level of HMB because the body makes less of it with age, and common foods only contain small amounts of HMB (e.g., a consumer would have to eat more than 6,000 avocados or 110 eggs to get enough). Astaxanthin Natural astaxanthin from the microalgae Haematococcus pluvialis is a carotenoid found in arctic marine environments, as well as common freshwater rock pools. Lower levels of astaxanthin are also found in marine animals, such as krill, that eat the microalgae. The AstaReal Group recently announced the results of a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study on the effectiveness of a new medical protocol to improve muscular function. 5 Published in the Journal of Cachexia, Sarcopenia and Muscle, the study investigated the restoration of muscle loss and improvement of functional decline in elderly people with sarcopenia. The four-month study focused on individuals ages 65 to 82 who took either natural astaxanthin (as AstaMed MYO™, from AstaReal) or placebo, and undertook an interval exercise training protocol. Over a four-month span, treatment recipients experienced a 40 percent increase in endurance, a 14 percent increase in muscle strength and an 8 percent increase in mobility, compared to no muscle strength improvement in those taking placebo. Green Tea Extract A preclinical study sponsored by Abbott examined the ability of the green tea catechin epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) to impact muscle mass and the molecular pathway involved in muscle atrophy in an animal model of sarcopenia. 6 The study concluded that a specialized green tea extract with high levels of antioxidant polyphenols can preserve muscle mass and function in animals undergoing age-related muscle loss. Even though green tea extract has shown to positively correlate with muscle performance, muscle recovery is still an issue. In a 2015 study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology, researchers studied how green tea extract would improve muscle recovery after reloading following disuse. 7 The results suggested that while satellite cell proliferation and differentiation are critical for muscle repair to occur, green tea-induced changes in satellite cell number are, by themselves, insuffi cient to improve muscle recovery following a period of atrophy in old rats. Where Is Muscle Support Going? "Sarcopenia is a world pandemic, especially affecting the Western world and other developed countries, such as Japan and South Korea, due to the growing elderly population," 8 said Mayuresh Bedekar, global products manager, Glanbia Nutritionals. "They call it the inverted population pyramid, where a majority of the population is over 60 years old and is supported by a smaller group of working adults." Bedekar noted sarcopenia affects 50 million people today and will affect over 200 million in the next 40 years. "The estimated U.S. health care cost of sarcopenia equates to roughly US$900 per person per year," he added. "All this presents a signifi cant opportunity to nutrition companies who are looking to launch products in this healthy aging category." Muscle Support Sarcopenia, the loss of skeletal muscle mass that accompanies aging, is an inevitability for most people, but various ingredients have clinically shown the ability to slow the process. Among the list of ingredients that have shown promising signs are HMB, astaxanthin and green tea extract. The estimated U.S. health care cost of sarcopenia equates to roughly US$900 per person per year. Outmuscling Sarcopenia by Connor Lovejoy INSIDER's Take For a list of references, email

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