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
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
- 4.Landi F, Calvani R, Cesari M et al. Sarcopenia: an overview on current definitions, diagnosis and treatment. Curr Protein Pept Sci, 2017Google Scholar
- 5.United Nations. Department of Economic and Social Affairs. Population Division Worlds Population Ageing: 1950–2050. https://doi.org/www.un.org/esa/population/publications/worldageing19502050/, accessed 16–07–2017.
- 14.Mithal A, Bonjour JP, Boonen S et al. Impact of nutrition on muscle mass, strength, and performance in older adults. Osteoporosis international: a journal established as result of cooperation between the European Foundation for Osteoporosis and the National Osteoporosis Foundation of the USA 2013;24: 1555–1566CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- 20.Brouwer–Brolsma EM, Vaes AM, van de Zwaluw NL et al. Relative importance of summer sun exposure, vitamin D intake, and genes to vitamin D status in Dutch older adults: The B–PROOF study. The Journal of steroid biochemistry and molecular biology 2016;164: 168–176Google Scholar
- 25.Guralnik JM, Simonsick EM, Ferrucci L et al. A short physical performance battery assessing lower extremity function: association with self–reported disability and prediction of mortality and nursing home admission. Journal of gerontology 1994;49: M85–94Google Scholar
- 31.World Health Organization. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. United Nations University, 2007. Protein and amino acid requirements in human nutrition. Report of a joint FAO/WHO/UNU expert consultation (WHO Technical Report Series 935). World Health Organization.Google Scholar
- 36.Darmann and Cynober. Chapter 3: Approaches to study amino acid metabolism: from quantitative assays to flux assessment using stable isotopes. In: [Luc A Cynober, (ed)]] Metabolic and therapeutic aspects of amino acids in clinical nutrition, 2nd edition ed. CRC Press LLC, Washington DC, 2004Google Scholar
- 40.Tieland M, Brouwer E, Nienaber–Rousseau C et al. Compromised vitamin D status in frail elderly people is associated with reduced muscle mass and physical performance in “Dietary strategies to augment muscle mass in the elderly”. Dissertation, Wageningen University, 2013.Google Scholar