Aging

Aging muscle: Use it or lose it

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Science  06 Apr 2018:
Vol. 360, Issue 6384, pp. 45-46
DOI: 10.1126/science.360.6384.45-c

Aging muscle doesn't waste away in active individuals.

PHOTO: PATTI MCCONVILLE/ALAMY STOCK PHOTO

It is perhaps not muscle that disappears as we age, but our preference and capacity for exercise. Pollock et al. examined the vastus lateralis muscle (part of the quadriceps) in a set of about a hundred 55- to 79-year-olds who cycled more than 100 miles a week. They analyzed muscle fiber type, fiber size, adenosine triphosphatase activity, capillary density, and abundance of mitochondrial proteins. The one measured parameter that showed a statistically significant change with age was a decrease in capillary density. Thus, in this cohort of recreational distance cyclists, where sedentary behavior was taken out of the mix, there was little deterioration of muscle caused by inherent aging processes.

Aging Cell 10.1111/acel.12735 (2018).

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