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Effects of 12 Weeks of Essential Amino Acids (EAA)-Based Multi-Ingredient Nutritional Supplementation on Muscle Mass, Muscle Strength, Muscle Power and Fatigue in Healthy Elderly Subjects: A Randomized Controlled Double-Blind Study

Abstract

Objective

To counteract muscle mass, muscle strength and power loss during aging, and to study age-related change of neuromuscular manifestation of fatigue in relation to nutritional supplementation.

Design

randomized controlled double-blind study.

Setting

Twice-daily consumption for 12 weeks of an Essential Amino Acids (EAA)-based multi-ingredient nutritional supplement containing EAA, creatine, vitamin D and Muscle Restore Complex®.

Participants

38 healthy elderly subjects (8 male, 30 female; age: 68.91±4.60 years; body weight: 69.40±15.58 kg; height: 1.60±0.09 m) were randomized and allocated in supplement (SUPP) or placebo (PLA) group.

Mean Measurements

Vitamin D blood level; Appendicular Lean Mass (ALM); Visceral Adipose Tissue (VAT); Maximal Voluntary Contraction (MVC) and Peak Power (PP); myoelectric descriptors of fatigue: Fractal Dimension and Conduction Velocity initial values (FD iv, CV iv), their rates of change (FD slopes, CV slopes) and the Time to perform the Task (TtT).

Mean Results

Significant changes were found in SUPP compared to baseline: Vitamin D (+8.73 ng/ml; p<0.001); ALM (+0.34 kg; p<0.001); VAT (-76.25 g; p<0.001); MVC (+0.52 kg; p<0.001); PP (+4.82 W; p<0.001). Between group analysis (SUPP Vs. PLA) showed improvements: vitamin D blood levels (+11,72 ng/ml; p<0.001); Legs FFM (+443.7 g; p<0.05); ALM (+0.53 kg; p<0.05); MVC (+1.38 kg; p<0.05); PP (+9.87 W; p<0.05). No statistical changes were found for FD iv, CV iv, FD and CV slopes and TtT, either compared to baseline or between groups. Significant correlations between mean differences in SUPP group were also found.

Conclusion

The study demonstrates that in healthy elderly subjects an EAA-based multi-ingredient nutritional supplementation of 12 weeks is not effective to change myoelectric manifestation of fatigue and TtT failure but can positively affect muscle mass, muscle strength, muscle power and VAT, counterbalancing more than one year of age-related loss of muscle mass and strength.

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Correspondence to Giuseppe D’Antona.

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Negro, M., Perna, S., Spadaccini, D. et al. Effects of 12 Weeks of Essential Amino Acids (EAA)-Based Multi-Ingredient Nutritional Supplementation on Muscle Mass, Muscle Strength, Muscle Power and Fatigue in Healthy Elderly Subjects: A Randomized Controlled Double-Blind Study. J Nutr Health Aging 23, 414–424 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12603-019-1163-4

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Key words

  • Alpha lipoic acid
  • coenzyme Q10
  • resveratrol
  • sarcopenia
  • muscle function