CLA may protect against elderly muscle loss

CLA (conjugated linolenic acid) is a fatty acid naturally present in ruminant meat and dairy products. Due to changes in the Western diet, average intake of CLA has fallen; if the fat is removed from a dairy product to make a low fat version that will be acceptable to consumers, CLA is removed along with it.
According to the research team, led by Gabriel Fernandes from University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, humans typically lose between 1 and 2 per cent of their muscle mass every year after the age of 50.
Mice receiving daily supplements of the commercially available CLA showed higher muscle mass than control animals, according to findings published in Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications.
Study details
Fernandes and his co-workers divided 12-month old into four groups, one of which received a diet with 10 per cent corn oil, while the others were supplemented with 0.5 per cent of only cis-9 trans-11, only trans-10 cis-12, or a mix of both.  After six months the researchers note that both the trans-10 cis-12 and CLA-mix showed “significantly higher muscle mass, as compared to corn oil and cis-9 trans-11 CLA groups”.
Both groups also exhibited increased cellular energy production (ATP), as well as higher levels of the antioxidant enzymes catalase and glutathione peroxidase in the muscles, compared to the corn oil andcis-9 trans-11 CLA groups.
“Thus, CLA may be a novel dietary supplement that will prevent

[age-related muscle loss]

by maintaining redox balance during ageing,” concluded the researchers.

Source: Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
12 June 2009, Volume 383, Issue 4, Pages 513-518
«Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) prevents age-associated skeletal muscle loss»
Authors: M.M. Rahman, G.V. Halade, A. El Jamali, G. Fernandes

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