Video Review: “Anabolic Resistance of Ageing”

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by Nils Osmar 1/22/2022

I found this video to be a helpful reminder about exercise and the aging process that brought some key points into focus


Opening presentation about glutathione:

The video begins with a short presentation about raising glutathione. Points in the opening:

  • It can be beneficial to restore glutathione to youthful levels.
  • Taking glycine with cysteine (GlyNac) is one way of doing so.
  • Raising glutathione helps mitochondrial function and improves cognitive function and insulin resistance.
  • The effect was temporary. When supplementation with glycine and cysteine was stopped, the above markers went into decline.

Maintaining Muscle as we Age

The heart of the video deals with this question. The key points are:

  • We tend to lose muscle as we age. But we can prevent this.
  • Nutrition is an anabolic stimuli supporting muscle growth.
  • Elements include protein digestion. amino acid absorption; our hormonal response to nutrients; muscle protein signaling. The type of protein, dose of protein, how well we chew our food, are all factors.
  • Muscle contraction stimulates muscle growth and synthesis “for up to 24 hours and longer after exercising.”

Exercise First – Then Eat Protein

  • From around 18:01 in the video:“If you are physically active before you ingest the same amount of protein you see that more of the protein that is ingested is converted to muscle.”He says this applies both to sports and to age-related sarcopenia.
  • When we exercise fasted then eat foods rich in protein, the anabolic effect of exercising is much greater. than if we eat first then exercise.
  • Quoting the speaker: “If you are active before ingesting protein, more of the protein that is ingested is converted to muscle.”

Other Key Points

  • The anabolic response to essential amino acids (such as leucine) is much higher in the young than in the elderly.
  • Therefore, elderly people need more protein than young people to build muscle and prevent or reverse sarcopenia.
  • Physical activity makes us more sensitive to anabolic inputs. Taking in adequate protein is essential in the elderly.
  • Even one week of bedrest results in the loss of 1.4 kg of muscle (in healthy young people). In the elderly the loss is even greater. “Massive amounts of muscle are lost in 5-7 days of being immobilized.” We can push back against this by increasing protein. “In reality people in the hospital need to consume far more protein than they typically do.”

To Prevent Muscle Loss

  • Remain physically active as much as possible.
  • If you’re bedridden or sedentary, apply exercise mimetics when appropriate
  • Consume a more protein dense diet
  • Commit to an active rehabilitation program.

My Thoughts about This Video

All in all, it’s a nicely focused presentation. It’s relevant to the aging process because of the observation that in the elderly, the response to protein intake is more sluggish. This suggests (to me) that more exercise and higher amounts of anabolic proteins such as those found in meat may be needed as we age.

I’ve found that there’s a benefit to exercising fasted, then eating a high protein meal. This results in greater and faster muscle gain (for me) than eating protein first, then exercising. This correlates with the information in the video.

I started doing weight training about 16 months ago. I was told not to expect much because I was already 67 and was experiencing muscle wasting. Contrary to this advice, I gained muscle rapidly. I suspect it was because I was taking supplements to increase testosterone and hGH levels. It may be that low levels of hGH and testosterone in most folks in their sixties are the reason so many people around my age get so little benefit from exercising.

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