Protein Supplementation and Resistance Training Improves Lean Muscle Mass and HDL levels In Older Females

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Strength training is one of the most effective ways to slow the loss of muscle mass with aging (sarcopenia). Sarcopenia will occur in all aging adults, but key differences are found between active and inactive adults. As expected, inactive adults show faster declines in muscle mass, strength, and function compared to their active peers. Previous research on strength training indicates it is never to late to begin a safely implemented resistance training program. Even novice participants in their 70s and 80s can benefit from the effects of strength training. A new research paper highlights the benefits of resistance training and protein supplementation for female older adults.

Fernandes and colleagues studied the impact of resistance training and protein supplementation on cardiac, metabolic, and tissue composition in older adult females (Experimental Gerontology. 2018). 32 older adult females were randomized to receive either 35 grams of whey protein or 35 grams of placebo. Each group performed resistance training exercises 3 days a week for 12 weeks. Authors collected body composition (DEXA scan), blood samples, and body circumference measurements at the start and conclusion of the training period. They reported greater improvements in lean soft tissue and total cholesterol/HDL profile among the protein and resistance group compared to the placebo protein group. Both groups improved waist circumference measurements and other measurements of cholesterol, triglycerides, and C reactive protein but no differences were found between groups. This study highlights the importance of incorporating resistance training into your exercise routine. Participants are advised to speak with their primary care physician before beginning any supplementation program.