Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Plant Foods For Preserving Muscle Mass

Date:
May 31, 2008
Source:
US Department of Agriculture
Summary:
Fruits and vegetables contain essential vitamins, minerals and fiber that are key to good health. Now, new research suggests plant foods also may help preserve muscle mass in older men and women.

A diet rich in alkaline-producing fruits and vegetables may help preserve muscle mass.
Credit: Peggy Greb

Fruits and vegetables contain essential vitamins, minerals and fiber that are key to good health. Now, a newly released study by Agricultural Research Service (ARS)-funded scientists suggests plant foods also may help preserve muscle mass in older men and women.

The study was led by physician and nutrition specialist Bess Dawson-Hughes at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University in Boston, Mass.

The typical American diet is rich in protein, cereal grains and other acid-producing foods. In general, such diets generate tiny amounts of acid each day. With aging, a mild but slowly increasing metabolic "acidosis" develops, according to the researchers.

Acidosis appears to trigger a muscle-wasting response. So the researchers looked at links between measures of lean body mass and diets relatively high in potassium-rich, alkaline-residue producing fruits and vegetables. Such diets could help neutralize acidosis. Foods can be considered alkaline or acidic based on the residues they produce in the body, rather than whether they are alkaline or acidic themselves. For example, acidic grapefruits are metabolized to alkaline residues.

The researchers conducted a cross-sectional analysis on a subset of nearly 400 male and female volunteers aged 65 or older who had completed a three-year osteoporosis intervention trial. The volunteers' physical activity, height and weight, and percentage of lean body mass were measured at the start of the study and at three years. Their urinary potassium was measured at the start of the study, and their dietary data was collected at 18 months.

Based on regression models, volunteers whose diets were rich in potassium could expect to have 3.6 more pounds of lean tissue mass than volunteers with half the higher potassium intake. That almost offsets the 4.4 pounds of lean tissue that is typically lost in a decade in healthy men and women aged 65 and above, according to authors.

Sarcopenia, or loss of muscle mass, can lead to falls due to weakened leg muscles. The authors encourage future studies that look into the effects of increasing overall intake of foods that metabolize to alkaline residues on muscle mass and functionality.

The study was published in the March issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by US Department of Agriculture. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

US Department of Agriculture. "Plant Foods For Preserving Muscle Mass." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 31 May 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080527121104.htm>.
US Department of Agriculture. (2008, May 31). Plant Foods For Preserving Muscle Mass. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080527121104.htm
US Department of Agriculture. "Plant Foods For Preserving Muscle Mass." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080527121104.htm (accessed July 28, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Monday, July 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

AP (July 28, 2014) Classes are being offered nationwide to encourage African Americans to learn about cooking fresh foods based on traditional African cuisine. The program is trying to combat obesity, heart disease and other ailments often linked to diet. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
West Africa Gripped by Deadly Ebola Outbreak

West Africa Gripped by Deadly Ebola Outbreak

AFP (July 28, 2014) The worst-ever outbreak of the deadly Ebola epidemic grips west Africa, killing hundreds. Duration: 00:48 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A national study conducted by the USDA Forest Service found that trees collectively save more than 850 lives on an annual basis. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Google's Next Frontier: The Human Body

Google's Next Frontier: The Human Body

Newsy (July 27, 2014) Google is collecting genetic and molecular information to paint a picture of the perfectly healthy human. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins