navigation-background arrow-down-circle Reply Icon Show More Heart Delete Icon wiki-circle wiki-square wiki arrow-up-circle add-circle add-square add arrow-down arrow-left arrow-right arrow-up calendar-circle chat-bubble-2 chat-bubble check-circle check close contact-us credit-card drag menu email embed facebook-circle facebook-square facebook faq-circle faq film gear google-circle google-square google history home instagram-circle instagram-square instagram linkedin-circle linkedin-square linkedin load monitor Video Player Play Icon person pinterest-circle pinterest-square pinterest play readlist remove-circle remove-square remove search share sign-out star trailer trash twitter-circle twitter-square twitter youtube-circle youtube-square youtube

You have to have a valid membership to attend this event

You have to have a valid membership to attend this event

Plant Foods Help Preserve Muscle Mass

Fruits and vegetables contain essential vitamins, minerals and fiber that are key to good health. Now, a newly released study by Agricultural Research Service (ARS)-funded scientists suggests plant foods also may help preserve muscle mass in older men and women.

The study was led by physician and nutrition specialist Bess Dawson-Hughes at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University in Boston, Mass.

The typical American diet is rich in protein, cereal grains and other acid-producing foods. In general, such diets generate tiny amounts of acid each day. With aging, a mild but slowly increasing metabolic "acidosis" develops, according to the researchers.

Acidosis appears to trigger a muscle-wasting response. So the researchers looked at links between measures of lean body mass and diets relatively high in potassium-rich, alkaline-residue producing fruits and vegetables. Such diets could help neutralize acidosis. Foods can be considered alkaline or acidic based on the residues they produce in the body, rather than whether they are alkaline or acidic themselves. For example, acidic grapefruits are metabolized to alkaline residues.

The researchers conducted a cross-sectional analysis on a subset of nearly 400 male and female volunteers aged 65 or older who had completed a three-year osteoporosis intervention trial. The volunteers' physical activity, height and weight, and percentage of lean body mass were measured at the start of the study and at three years. Their urinary potassium was measured at the start of the study, and their dietary data was collected at 18 months.

Based on regression models, volunteers whose diets were rich in potassium could expect to have 3.6 more pounds of lean tissue mass than volunteers with half the higher potassium intake. That almost offsets the 4.4 pounds of lean tissue that is typically lost in a decade in healthy men and women aged 65 and above, according to authors. The study was published in the March issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Sarcopenia, or loss of muscle mass, can lead to falls due to weakened leg muscles. The authors encourage future studies that look into the effects of increasing overall intake of foods that metabolize to alkaline residues on muscle mass and functionality.
Source: www.ars.usda.gov


Did you know?

• Over two-thirds of US adults are overweight or obese

• The annual health care costs due overweight and obese health problems is    estimated to be 117 billion annually

Source: win.niddk.nih.gov

LINK OF THE WEEK

http://men.webmd.com/glossary
The experts at www.webmd.com offer a glossary of the most important terms in men's health can help you find the right words so that you always get the right care.

Issue 3.25: June 19, 2008