Effects of resistance exercise and whey protein supplementation on skeletal muscle strength, mass, physical function, and hormonal and inflammatory biomarkers in healthy active older men: a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial

Corbin Griffen, Michael Duncan, John Hattersley, Martin O. Weickert, Alexander Dallaway, Derek Renshaw

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    17 Citations (Scopus)
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    Abstract

    Purpose: To determine the individual and combined effects of 12 weeks of resistance exercise (RE) and whey protein supplementation on skeletal muscle strength (primary outcome), mass and physical function, and hormonal and inflammatory biomarkers in older adults. Methods: Thirty-six healthy older men [(mean±SE) age: 67±1 y; BMI: 25.5±0.4 kg/m2] were randomised to either control (CON; n=9), whey protein (PRO; n=9), RE+control (EX+CON; n=9), or RE+whey protein (EX+PRO; n=9) in a double-blinded fashion. Whole-body RE (2 sets of 8 repetitions and 1 set to volitional failure at 80% 1RM) was performed twice weekly. Supplements (PRO, 25 g whey protein isolate; CON, 23.75 g maltodextrin) were consumed twice daily. Results: EX+CON and EX+PRO increased leg extension (+19±3 kg and +20±3 kg, respectively) and leg press 1RM (+27±3 kg and +39±2 kg, respectively) greater than the CON and PRO groups (P<0.001, Cohen's d=1.50–1.90). RE (EX+CON and EX+PRO groups pooled) also increased fat-free mass (FFM) (+0.9±0.3 kg) and 6-min walk test distance (+21±5 m) and decreased fat mass (−0.4±0.4 kg), and interleukin-6 (−1.0±0.4 pg/mL) and tumor necrosis factor-alpha concentration (−0.7±0.3 pg/mL) greater than non-exercise (CON and PRO groups pooled; P<0.05, Cohen's f=0.37–0.45). Whey protein supplementation (PRO and EX+PRO groups pooled) increased 4-m gait speed greater than control (CON and EX+CON groups pooled) (+0.08±0.03 m/s; P=0.007, f=0.51). Conclusion: RE increased muscle strength, FFM and physical function, and decreased markers of systemic inflammation in healthy active older men. Whey protein supplementation alone increased gait speed. No synergistic effects were observed. This study was registered at clinicaltrials.gov as NCT03299972.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number111651
    JournalExperimental Gerontology
    Volume158
    Early online date9 Dec 2021
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Feb 2022

    Bibliographical note

    Funding Information:
    We gratefully acknowledge the time and dedication of all participants who participated in this study. We thank Research Nurse Alison Campbell (University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust) and the nursing team for support in blood and saliva collection. The authors are also grateful to Yves Schellenberg from Agropur for providing the Instantized BiPRO whey protein supplement used in this study. This publication presents independent research jointly funded by University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust & Coventry University and carried out with support of the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Coventry and Warwickshire Clinical Research Facility . The views expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust & Coventry University, the NIHR, or the Department of Health.

    Publisher Copyright:
    © 2021

    Keywords

    • Ageing
    • Resistance exercise
    • Sarcopenia
    • Systemic inflammation
    • Whey protein

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Biochemistry
    • Ageing
    • Molecular Biology
    • Genetics
    • Endocrinology
    • Cell Biology

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