Fat molecule ceramide may factor in muscle loss in older adults
As men and women age, increasing quantities of fat tissue inevitably take up residence in skeletal muscle. A small study of older and younger men conducted at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University suggests that a build-up of a fat molecule known as ceramide might play a leading role in muscle deterioration in older adults. The results of the study were published online this month by the Journal of Applied Physiology, a publication of the American Physiological Society.
The study enrolled 10 men in their mid-seventies and nine men in their early twenties. None of the men carried excess weight or had chronic health problems and none had exercised in six months. Ceramide was measured in a muscle biopsy taken at baseline. The participants performed a single bout of exercise (three sets of ten repetitions of knee extensions and leg presses) followed by two muscle biopsies which the authors used to examine how the exercise impacted muscle growth response.
"There is a known relationship between elevated ceramide levels and unhealthy muscle in obese adults, but to the best of our knowledge, this had not been studied in healthy weight, older adults," said Donato Rivas, Ph.D., the study's first author and a scientist in the Nutrition, Exercise Physiology and Sarcopenia Laboratory at the USDA HNRCA at Tufts University. "Our analysis of the muscle biopsies showed an accumulation of two types of ceramide molecules containing saturated fatty acids that were 156% and 30% higher in the older men. Furthermore, having higher accumulation of one of these saturated fatty acid types was associated with having less leg muscle mass in both younger and older men."
"Although it is well known that fat tissue replaces some of our muscle tissue as we grow older, we are seeking to understand whether some fat molecules are more damaging to muscle than others," said Roger A. Fielding, Ph.D., senior author and director of the Nutrition, Exercise Physiology and Sarcopenia Laboratory. "We suspect that the increased storage of ceramide we saw in the older men, exacerbated by the presence of saturated fat, has a part in weakening the anabolic signaling that responds to resistance exercises and helps with the assembly of new muscle."
Learning more about ceramide activity through larger, long-term interventional trials involving older and younger men and women may identify a role in dietary or therapeutic drug interventions for sarcopenia, an age-related condition of muscle loss and function.
"The deterioration of muscle is compounded by a loss of muscle strength, which really begins to decline around age 50 and appears to be a factor in the visible decrease in mobility people exhibit around age 80," added Fielding, who is also a professor at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University and at Tufts University School of Medicine. "Previous research done at Tufts and other institutions suggests that even with limited exercise older adults can maintain and build some new muscle. Until there is enough research to develop specific exercise and dietary interventions, staying as physically active as deemed safe by your health care provider can only benefit aging muscle."
More information: Rivas DA, Morris EP, Haran PH, Pasha EP, da Silva Morais, M, Dolnikowsi GG, Phillips EM, Fielding RA "Increased ceramide content and NF 1 kB signaling may contribute to the attenuation of anabolic2 signaling after resistance exercise in aged males." Published online October 4, 2012. doi:10.1152/japplphysiol.00412.2012
Journal reference: Journal of Applied Physiology
Provided by Tufts University
- Older men with higher testosterone levels lose less muscle mass as they age Oct 27, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- New clues to muscle wasting in elderly people Feb 24, 2012 | not rated yet | 0
- Keeping in good shape in old age is harder for women, study finds Mar 26, 2008 | not rated yet | 0
- Building muscle without heavy weights Apr 26, 2012 | not rated yet | 0
- Elderly at risk for physical disabilities exercise, improve physical function Dec 17, 2007 | not rated yet | 0
- Motion perception revisited: High Phi effect challenges established motion perception assumptions Apr 23, 2013 | 3 / 5 (2) | 2
- Anything you can do I can do better: Neuromolecular foundations of the superiority illusion (Update) Apr 02, 2013 | 4.5 / 5 (11) | 5
- The visual system as economist: Neural resource allocation in visual adaptation Mar 30, 2013 | 5 / 5 (2) | 9
- Separate lives: Neuronal and organismal lifespans decoupled Mar 27, 2013 | 4.9 / 5 (8) | 0
- Sizing things up: The evolutionary neurobiology of scale invariance Feb 28, 2013 | 4.8 / 5 (10) | 14
Why is zone 1 in liver more prone to ischemic injury?
May 23, 2013 Hi, Is it because around central vein, there is only deoxygenated blood from the vein where as in the periphery there is hepatic artery. Also why...
How can there be villous adenoma in colon, if there are no villi there
May 22, 2013 As title suggest. Thanks :smile:
How can there be a term called "intestinal metaplasia" of stomach
May 21, 2013 Hello everyone, Ok Stomach's normal epithelium is simple columnar, now in intestinal type of adenocarcinoma of stomach it undergoes "intestinal...
Pressure-volume curve: Elastic Recoil Pressure don't make sense
May 18, 2013 From pressure-volume curve of the lung and chest wall (attached photo), I don't understand why would the elastic recoil pressure of the lung is...
If you became brain-dead, would you want them to pull the plug?
May 17, 2013 I'd want the rest of me to stay alive. Sure it's a lousy way to live but it beats being all-the-way dead. Maybe if I make it 20 years they'll...
MRI bill question
May 15, 2013 Dear PFers, The hospital gave us a $12k bill for one MRI (head with contrast). The people I talked to at the hospital tell me that they do not...
- More from Physics Forums - Medical Sciences
More news stories
By discovering the new mechanism by which estrogen suppresses lipid synthesis in the liver, UC Irvine endocrinologists have revealed a potential new approach toward treating certain liver diseases.
Medical research May 23, 2013 | not rated yet | 0 |
Aortic arch pulse wave velocity, a measure of arterial stiffness, is a strong independent predictor of disease of the vessels that supply blood to the brain, according to a new study published in the June issue the journal ...
Medical research May 23, 2013 | not rated yet | 0
Since the discovery of Prontosil in 1932, sulfonamide antibiotics have been used to combat a wide spectrum of bacterial infections, from acne to chlamydia and pneumonia. However, their side effects can include serious neurological ...
Medical research May 23, 2013 | not rated yet | 0 |
Scientists at the National Institutes of Health report they have discovered in mouse studies that a small molecule released in the spinal cord triggers a process that is later experienced in the brain as ...
Medical research May 23, 2013 | 5 / 5 (3) | 0 |
Spanish researchers have discovered that the daily clearance of neutrophils from the body stimulates the release of hematopoietic stem cells from the bone marrow into the bloodstream, according to a report published today ...
Medical research May 23, 2013 | 5 / 5 (2) | 0
(Medical Xpress)—A new study by researchers in the US has shown that an ancient virus can be modified to help in the fight against the simian immunodeficiency virus SIV, which is the equivalent in monkeys ...
13 hours ago | 5 / 5 (3) | 0 |
Two mutations central to the development of infantile myofibromatosis (IM)—a disorder characterized by multiple tumors involving the skin, bone, and soft tissue—may provide new therapeutic targets, according to researchers ...
8 hours ago | 3 / 5 (2) | 0 |
Women at a particular stage in their monthly menstrual cycle may be more vulnerable to some of the psychological side-effects associated with stressful experiences, according to a study from UCL.
10 hours ago | 5 / 5 (2) | 0 |
Biological processes are generally based on events at the molecular and cellular level. To understand what happens in the course of infections, diseases or normal bodily functions, scientists would need to ...
11 hours ago | 5 / 5 (3) | 0 |
Talking on a hands-free device while behind the wheel can lead to a sharp increase in errors that could imperil other drivers on the road, according to new research from the University of Alberta.
7 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
(Medical Xpress)—Patients with diabetes who are depressed are much more likely to develop episodes of dangerously low blood sugars, or hypoglycemia, than are those who are not depressed, a new study has ...
14 hours ago | not rated yet | 0 |