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Tags: frailty | sarcopenia | aging | astralagus

Answers About Age Related Muscle Loss

By Wednesday, 10 June 2020 04:39 PM Current | Bio | Archive

One of the major problems with aging, especially advanced aging, is a loss of muscle — a condition called sarcopenia, which is a part of frailty. Fortunately, newer studies may have some answers for this age-old problem (no pun intended).

To understand this state of affairs, you have to appreciate that there are some things that go along with muscle loss (atrophy), such as a progressive decline in function of mitochondria — the main energy suppliers in cells, especially muscle cells.

This decline in mitochondrial function is partly based on accumulated effects from free radicals and lipid peroxidation products, which damage cell membranes, DNA, and numerous essential enzymes — especially energy-driving enzymes. As the mitochondria begin to weaken, even more free radicals and lipid peroxidation products are generated.

The mitochondria also control the metabolism of calcium, which is the principal “second messenger” in cells — that is, a component that tells the cell what needs to be done on a second-by-second basis.

If calcium accumulates, as it does with aging, a number of problems can arise, particularly immunoexcitotoxicity in all the tissues of the body — including muscles.

Likewise, when the mitochondria weaken, greater inflammation occurs.

Muscles contain a dense collection of glutamate receptors. When overstimulated, these receptors can cause considerable damage and trigger chronic inflammation, which further suppresses mitochondrial function.

Another major suppressor of mitochondrial energy production is nitric oxide, the very same compound millions of people have been convinced is a miracle supplement.

Certain amino acids also play a major role in building muscle tissue. The most important — called branch-chained amino acids — include leucine, isoleucine, and valine. You can buy these amino acids as a supplement that should be taken only with a meal and never on an empty stomach because the amino acids can cause hypoglycemia.

Taking 5 to 10 grams of these amino acids a day can reduce muscle loss and help build muscle.

Other natural compounds that have been shown to be beneficial for building and repairing muscles include curcumin, astragalus, apigenin, and schisandra. Curcumin also increases mitochondrial function.

Schisandra is especially interesting because it stimulates the reproduction of mitochondria within cells, thus giving cells more energy-producing factories. It has also been shown to significantly reduce inflammation within muscles, which allows muscles to grow instead of shrinking.

In one study that used old mice forced to endure strenuous exercise, researchers found that those taking schisandra extract built new muscle, increased their strength and endurance, and reduced muscle inflammation and free radical accumulation within their muscles. Other studies have confirmed those findings.

Astragalus is another herb of great interest for its antiaging effects. It’s also a powerful antioxidant that controls blood sugar, restores immune function, reduces inflammation, strengthens the heart muscle, protects the brain, inhibits cancer, and stimulates the release of stem cells from the bone marrow, which can be used to repair muscle.

It has also been shown to decrease muscle wasting by a number of other mechanisms.

Another flavonoid, called apigenin, has been shown to potently stimulate muscle growth and prevent atrophy of muscles. Apigenin also stimulates muscle protection against a loss of mitochondrial function.

All of these extracts are available without a prescription.

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One of the major problems with aging, especially advanced aging, is a loss of muscle — a condition called sarcopenia, which is a part of frailty.
frailty, sarcopenia, aging, astralagus
Wednesday, 10 June 2020 04:39 PM
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