Dietary sport supplement shows strong effects in the elderly

November 7, 2008

Beta-alanine (BA), a dietary supplement widely used by athletes and body builders, has been proven to increase the fitness levels of a group of elderly men and women. The research, published in BioMed Central's open access Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, suggests that BA supplementation improves muscle endurance in the elderly.

The research was carried out by Jeffrey Stout, PhD from the University of Oklahoma, USA, and a team of colleagues. According to Dr. Stout, "This could have importance in the prevention of falls, and the maintenance of health and independent living in elderly men and women."

BA is an amino acid that, together with histidine, forms the dipeptide carnosine. Carnosine is found in muscle tissue and makes an important contribution to the maintenance of intracellular pH, which is vital for normal muscle function during intense exercise. An increased intake of BA significantly raises muscle carnosine levels.

In this double-blind, randomized controlled trial, 26 elderly men and women were given a 90-day course of BA supplementation or placebo pills. Their fitness levels were tested before and after the course. In the treatment group, 67% of the subjects showed an improvement in their fitness levels, compared to 21.5% of the people receiving the placebo treatment.

The researchers write, "Our data suggest that 90 days of BA supplementation increases physical working capacity in elderly men and women. These findings are clinically significant, as a decrease in functional capacity to perform daily living tasks has been associated with an increase in mortality, primarily due to increased risk of falls."

Source: BioMed Central

Explore further: Video games target Japan's silver generation

Related Stories

Video games target Japan's silver generation

March 6, 2014

At a nursing home in suburban Tokyo, 88-year-old Saburo Sakamoto darts his fingers energetically to catch characters that appear on a touch screen in front of him.

Curry spice could offer treatment hope for tendinitis

August 9, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- A derivative of a common culinary spice found in Indian curries could offer a new treatment hope for sufferers of the painful condition tendinitis, an international team of researchers has shown.

Recommended for you

Machine Translates Thoughts into Speech in Real Time

December 21, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- By implanting an electrode into the brain of a person with locked-in syndrome, scientists have demonstrated how to wirelessly transmit neural signals to a speech synthesizer. The "thought-to-speech" process ...

Quantum Theory May Explain Wishful Thinking

April 14, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- Humans don’t always make the most rational decisions. As studies have shown, even when logic and reasoning point in one direction, sometimes we chose the opposite route, motivated by personal bias or simply ...

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.