Calorie reduction + exercise = better muscle function in older adults

August 29, 2017, American Physiological Society

Improved muscle performance starts with better mitochondrial function. Older adults who are overweight may improve their muscle function with a weight loss program that combines exercise and calorie reduction, according to researchers from Florida Hospital, in Orlando, Fla., who present their findings today at the American Physiological Society's Physiological Bioenergetics: Mitochondria from Bench to Bedside conference in San Diego.

The researchers studied three groups of obese seniors (average age: 70) over the course of six months:

  • One group followed a reduced-calorie diet to lose weight.
  • A second group combined calorie restriction with a supervised exercise program.
  • A control group attended health education classes but did not follow any specific diet or exercise program.

The research team took samples of muscle fibers from all volunteers before and after the trial period to measure the mitochondria's ability to use oxygen and provide the cells with energy (mitochondrial respiratory capacity). Mitochondrial respiratory capacity typically decreases with age as some people become less active and gain weight. "Increased mitochondrial capacity is desired as it translates to greater metabolic and muscular functions," wrote Giovanna Distefano, PhD, first author on the study.

The researchers found no change in mitochondrial respiration rate in the control and calorie-restricted groups. The exercise and diet group, however, demonstrated improved rates and a higher exercise capacity. These results suggest that "the addition of to a calorie restriction-induced is essential to promote improvements in mitochondrial capacity," Distefano wrote.

Explore further: Is diet or exercise the best way to reduce diabetes risk?

Related Stories

Is diet or exercise the best way to reduce diabetes risk?

May 6, 2015
In a paper recently published in Diabetes Care, Saint Louis University associate professor of nutrition and dietetics Edward Weiss, Ph.D, and colleagues found that, though people often think of the benefits from exercise, ...

Is alternate-day fasting more effective for weight loss?

May 1, 2017
Alternate day fasting regimens have increased in popularity because some patients find it difficult to adhere to a conventional weight-loss diet.

Discovery in mice could lead to new class of medications to fight mid-life obesity

May 2, 2017
NIH discovery in mice could lead to new class of medications to fight mid-life obesity

How exercise—interval training in particular—helps your mitochondria stave off old age

March 7, 2017
It's oft-repeated but true: exercise keeps you healthy. It boosts your immune system, keeps the mind sharp, helps you sleep, maintains your muscle tone, and extends your healthy lifespan. Researchers have long suspected that ...

High-intensity training delivers results for older men-but not for older women

September 11, 2015
High-intensity training (HIT) is often recommended as a way to improve cardiovascular fitness in men and women. HIT exercise can have a positive effect on a person's maximum oxygen consumption (VO2max) and mitochondrial oxidative ...

Recommended for you

Fruit and vegetables linked to changes in skin colour, new research finds

June 21, 2018
Skin colour in young Caucasian men is strongly linked to high levels of fruit and vegetable consumption, new research by Curtin University has found.

Fans of yoga therapy have yet to win over doctors

June 21, 2018
Yoga practitioners often tout the unique health benefits of the ancient discipline—from relieving stress and pain to improving vascular health—but most doctors remain sceptical in the absence of hard proof.

Medicaid work requirements and health savings accounts may impact people's coverage

June 20, 2018
Current experimental approaches in Medicaid programs—including requirements to pay premiums, contribute to health savings accounts, or to work—may lead to unintended consequences for patient coverage and access, such ...

What a pain: The iPad neck plagues women more

June 20, 2018
Is your iPad being a literal pain in the neck?

Introduction of alcohol found to adversely impact fertility rates in hunter-gatherer community

June 19, 2018
Fernando Ramirez Rozzi, a research director with the French National Centre for Scientific Research has found that the introduction of alcohol to a Baka pygmy hunter-gatherer society caused fertility rates to fall. In his ...

Living the high life: How altitude influences bone growth

June 19, 2018
High altitude is a particularly challenging environment—the terrain is physically challenging and the land has a relatively poor crop yield, so food can be sparse. Most importantly, oxygen levels are lower meaning that ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.