The progressive aging of our population imposes an increasing demand on our
healthcare systems. Ageing is associated with a decline in skeletal-muscle-mass
and function, accompanied by reduced physical performance, loss of functional
capacity, and an increased risk of developing chronic metabolic diseases and
obesity. To date, the mechanisms behind the progressive loss of muscle mass and
the potential dietary interventions to counteract this process are incompletely
understood. The aim of this project is to elucidate the mechanisms regulating
muscle-mass gain and loss in response to food ingestion and energy restriction.
Several acute human intervention trials are being carried out within this
project, applying advanced measurement technology including
intrinsically-labelled protein combined with contemporary stable-isotope
methodology. These studies will investigate the mechanisms responsible for
post-prandial muscle-protein anabolic response.
Furthermore, the importance of the macronutrient composition of a meal on
post-prandial muscle-protein accretion will be investigated. Finally, a
prolonged dietary-intervention study will be carried out in overweight,
middle-aged and elderly men and women, during energy-intake restriction, to
determine the clinical benefits of defined dietary-intervention strategies to
preserve muscle mass. This project will define dietary strategies and novel
nutritional concepts to preserve muscle mass and support healthy ageing.
TI Food and Nutrition Project Leader: Prof. Dr Luc van Loon
Time Frame: 2011 – 2014