Muscle strength is one of the keys to healthy aging, yet after we achieve peak mass in our early 40s, it's pretty much downhill from there. Most people begin to lose modest amounts of muscle at that point and experience progressive deterioration as the years go by, especially if they are sedentary.
Now, with a growing population of aging baby boomers, experts are turning their attention to interventions to help stem the loss of muscle mass, quality and strength, known as sarcopenia. It is caused by a number of complex factors that are not entirely understood, including decreasing amounts of testosterone in men. Muscle decline often goes hand in hand with frailty, a decline of physical function that leads to falls, hospitalization and the need for nursing-home care.
For now, however, the best medicine available to maintain muscle mass and strength is less complicated and costly-namely, exercise and a healthy diet. Yet about 60% of people over 65 are insufficiently active or overtly inactive, and many have poor nutrition, says Nathan LeBrasseur, a researcher who directs the Muscle Performance and Physical Function Laboratory and the Healthy Aging and Independent Living Initiative at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. Dr. LeBrasseur estimates that most people will lose approximately 30% of muscle mass over their lifetime, and as much as 50% by the time they reach their 80s or 90s.
Why are healthy muscles so important anyways?
Here are 5 interesting ways that muscle health affects you
*Diabetes - Having healthy muscles actually decreases your risk of diabetes since muscle is not only important in blunting the magnitude of increases in blood glucose after meals. It also helps prevent decreases in the blood glucose level between meals. What that means to you is this: Maintaining healthy muscles is crucial for keeping your blood glucose levels in the normal range.
*Bone loss - Prevention of the loss of bone with aging (osteoporosis) is highly dependent on the maintenance of adequate muscle mass and function. That is because strong muscles put tension on the bone, and that is vital for healthy bone function.
*Heart health - Heart attacks and strokes are more common and usually more disastrous in individuals with depleted muscle mass. To say it another way: Those with healthier muscles live longer.
*Obesity - Muscle also plays a very important role in energy balance and prevention of obesity. Muscle burns fat because muscle is always burning, even while you are sleeping.
*Brain health - The essential amino acids become important chemical messengers in the brain that can affect mood, appetite, energy level, sex drive and many other behaviors and feelings that affect our lives.
What's so important about Essential Amino Acids?
Muscle is the main reservoir of amino acids in the body
Muscle needs protein to grow, but the body cannot produce protein on its own
Muscle is always in a state of breakdown and synthesis or "turnover," which is an important process to rid the body of old damaged muscle fibers and replace them with new healthy fibers
Essential Amino Acids are the cellular building blocks of protein
Muscle serves many important metabolic functions beyond supporting physical movement
The role of Protein Synthesis
Approximately 20% of amino acids released through the process of protein breakdown are irreversibly oxidized and therefore not available for reincorporation into newly synthesized proteins . In order to maintain a constant lean body mass, these amino acids must be replaced, either by synthesis or via dietary protein or amino acid intake. In order to gain muscle protein, the rate of synthesis must exceed the rate of breakdown. However, this process requires nutrient intake or new amino acids to provide what's needed to produce that protein.
The Building Blocks of Life (Essential Amino Acids) possess the unique power to help you…
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These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Our products are not intended to diagnose treat, cure or prevent any disease. It is intended for your general knowledge only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment for specific medical conditions. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition..