Supplementation with Whey Protein, Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Polyphenols Combined with Electrical Muscle Stimulation Increases Muscle Strength in Elderly Adults with Limited Mobility: A Randomized Controlled Trial.
Nutrients. 2020 Jun 23 ;12(6). Epub 2020 Jun 23. PMID: 32585837
Age-related sarcopenia is a progressive and generalized skeletal muscle disorder associated with adverse outcomes. Herein, we evaluate the effects of a combination of electrical muscle stimulation (EMS) and a whey-based nutritional supplement (with or without polyphenols and fish oil-derived omega-3 fatty acids) on muscle function and size. Free-living elderly participants with mobility limitations were included in this study. They received 2 sessions of EMS per week and were randomly assigned to ingest an isocaloric beverage and capsules for 12 weeks: (1) carbohydrate + placebo capsules (CHO,= 12), (2) whey protein isolate + placebo capsules (WPI,= 15) and (3) whey protein isolate + bioactives (BIO) capsules containing omega-3 fatty acids, rutin, and curcumin (WPI + BIO,= 10). The change in knee extension strength was significantly improved by 13% in the WPI + BIO group versus CHO on top of EMS, while WPI alone did not provide a significant benefit over CHO. On top of this, there was the largest improvement in gait speed (8%). The combination of EMS and this specific nutritional intervention could be considered as a new approach for the prevention of sarcopenia but more work is needed before this approach should be recommended. This trial was registered at the Japanese University Hospital Medical Information Network (UMIN) clinical trial registry (UMIN000008382).