Low Levels of Branched Chain Amino Acids, Eicosapentaenoic Acid and Micronutrients are Associated with Low Muscle Mass, Strength and Function in Community-Dwelling Older Adults
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Sarcopenia, the age-related decrease in muscle mass and function can result in adverse health outcomes and subsequent loss of independence. Inadequate nutrition is an important contributor to the aetiology of sarcopenia, and dietary strategies are studied to prevent or delay this geriatric syndrome.
The present study investigated whether there is an association between biochemical nutrient status markers, muscle parameters and sarcopenia in community-dwelling older adults.
Data from the cross-sectional Maastricht Sarcopenia study (MaSS) were used, in which skeletal muscle index (SMI), 4 meter gait speed, 5 times chair stand and handgrip strength were assessed among older adults (n=227). Sarcopenia was defined following the algorithm of the European Working Group on Sarcopenia in Older People. Fasted blood samples were analyses on amino acids levels, RBC phospholipid profile, 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D), α-tocopherol, magnesium and homocysteine were determined in fasted blood levels. Generalized linear modelling and logistic regression were used for data analysis.
Lower blood levels of essential amino acids (EAA), total branched-chain amino acids (BCAA) and leucine were associated with lower SMI (P<0.001), strength (P<0.001) and longer time to complete the chair stand (P<0.05), whereas no association was found for total amino acids (TAA). Lower levels of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), 25(OH)D and homocysteine were associated with lower muscle parameter values (P<0.05). No significant associations were found for SFA, MUFA, PUFA, n-3 and n-6 fatty acids, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), α-tocopherol-cholesterol ratio and magnesium. Sarcopenia was more frequent among those with lower levels of leucine, BCAA, EAA, EPA, 25(OH)D and higher levels of homocysteine (P<0.05). Age and BMI were identified as relevant covariates. A robust association was only found for lower gait speed and lower 25(OH)D levels.
Compromised muscle parameters are associated with low blood values of specific amino acids, fatty acids, vitamin D and high homocysteine.
Key wordsSarcopenia older adults amino acids 25-hydroxyvitamin D n-3 fatty acids
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