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Intentional weight loss in obese older adults is a known risk factor for muscle loss and sarcopenia.
A study was thus conducted to determine the impact a high whey protein-, leucine-, and vitamin D-enriched supplement exerted on muscle mass preservation during intentional weight loss in obese older adults.
Eighty obese older adults were recruited in this double-blind randomized controlled trial. Over a 13-week weight loss program, all the participants received a hypocaloric diet (-600 kcal/d) and performed resistance training 3 times a week. Study participants either received a high whey protein-, leucine-, and vitamin D-enriched supplement with other macro- and micronutrients (150 kcal, 21 g protein; 10×/wk) forming the intervention group or were allocated to an isocaloric control group. The primary outcome measure included change in appendicular muscle mass. The secondary outcomes included body composition, handgrip strength, and physical performance.
Mean ± SD age at baseline was 63 ± 5.6 y, and body mass index (kg/m2) was 33 ± 4.4. During the study period, protein intake was 1.11 ± 0.28 g/kg body weight/d in the intervention group compared to 0.85 ± 0.24 g/kg body weight/d in the control group. The intervention and control groups demonstrated reduction in body weight of -3.4 ± 3.6 kg and -2.8 ± 2.8 kg as well as fat mass (-3.2 ± 3.1 kg and -2.5 ± 2.4 kg) during the trial. The change in appendicular muscle mass showed remarkable difference in the intervention and control groups (+0.4 ± 1.2 kg and -0.5 ± 2.1 kg, respectively; Fig. 1). Muscle strength and function also showed improvements over time.
Fig. 1. Change in appendicular muscle mass in the intervention and control groups
It was concluded that a high whey protein-, leucine-, and vitamin D-enriched supplement could preserve appendicular muscle mass in obese older adults during a hypocaloric diet and resistance exercise program. The intervention could thus reduce the risk of sarcopenia in older adults.
- Verreijen AM, Verlaan S, Engberink MF, et al. A high whey protein-, leucine-, and vitamin D-enriched supplement preserves muscle mass during intentional weight loss in obese older adults: a double-blind randomized controlled trial. Am J ClinNutr. 2015 Feb;101(2):279-86.