Changes in lean mass and serum myostatin with habitual protein intake and high-velocity resistance training


DOI: 10.1007/s12603-017-0883-6

Cite this article as:
Binns, A., Gray, M., Henson, A.C. et al. J Nutr Health Aging (2017). doi:10.1007/s12603-017-0883-6



Examine the associations between dietary protein intake, lean mass (LM), and serum myostatin (Mstn) levels among community-dwelling older adults participating in a 20-week high-velocity resistance training (HVRT) program.

Design, Setting, and Participants

This longitudinal study consisted of 33 community-dwelling, older adults (mean age 77.0 years, SD = 6.4); all of which obtained physician clearance prior to study participation.


Twenty-five females and eight males were randomized to a control (CON) or HVRT group. Anthropometric measures were obtained via dual energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) and peripheral venous blood draw used for serum myostatin analysis. Exercise was performed twice per week for 20 consecutive weeks. Food intake estimation with a diet history questionnaire (DHQ) was used for protein intake comparison to the recommended dietary allowance (RDA). All measures were recorded both prior to and following study participation.


Altogether, protein was consumed in amounts more generous (1.01 ± 0.47 g·kg-1·d-1) than that of the RDA (0.8 g·kg-1·d-1). As a result of significant LM differences among men and women (p < 0.01), additional data were analyzed specific to sex. Serum myostatin was greater among females (6681.8 ± 3155.0 pg·mL-1) than males (5560.0 ± 2946.1 pg·mL-1); however, these values were not significantly different (p = 0.39). Combined, protein consumption and serum myostatin did not significantly influence LM among males (p = 0.09) or females (p = 0.71). Irrespective of training group, significant changes were not exhibited in dietary intake patterns, LM, or serum myostatin.


Contrary to the proposed hypothesis, results suggest protein consumption and circulating serum myostatin levels did not significantly influence LM among older adults. Although HVRT positively impacts LM, neither exercise group displayed significant changes in LM. Therefore, further research is needed examining dietary intake, exercise modality, and myostatin downregulation as non-pharmacological approaches to combating sarcopenia..

Key words

Older adults myostatin protein consumption 

Copyright information

© Serdi and Springer-Verlag France 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. Binns
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • M. Gray
    • 1
    • 2
  • A. C. Henson
    • 1
    • 2
  • I. L. Fort
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Human Performance LabUniversity of ArkansasFayettevilleUSA
  2. 2.Office for Studies on AgingUniversity of ArkansasFayettevilleUSA
  3. 3.Health, Human Performance, and RecreationUniversity of Arkansas FayettevilleFayettevilleUSA

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