A multi-center clinical study led by Professor Yu Kang, Department of Clinical Nutrition and Department of Health Medicine, PUMCH, revealed tentatively the proinﬂammatory cytokines and lifestyle intervention for sarcopenia. The findings were published on April 10, 2019 on Journal of Cachexia Sarcopenia and Muscle (JCSM) (JCR 1st in Geriatrics and Gerontology, IF12.511) online as an original article.
Sarcopenia is the degenerative loss of skeletal muscle mass, quality, and strength associated with aging, which leads to frailty, fracture, disability and reduced life quality. Its exact cause is still unknown. Evidence showed that sarcopenia is an important indicator pointing to disabilities in later life stage. As China is becoming increasingly an ageing society, sarcopenia has become an important factor threatening the health and life of elder groups, and posing a challenge to family medical spending and public health administration.
The team, based on associations between chronic inflammations and sarcopenia, described the role of proinﬂammatory cytokines and metabolic hormones in the onset of sarcopenia. It reported that high levels of TNF-like weak inducer of apoptosis (TWEAK) and TNF-α are associated with an increased risk of sarcopenia, while the metabolic hormones insulin growth factor 1, insulin, and adiponectin are associated with a decreased risk of sarcopenia in our Chinese patient cohort.
The team carried out a lifestyle intervention of three months of nutrition and exercise on elderly subjects (age ≥ 60 years), and was the world first to prove that whey supplements and resistance training might reduce remarkably proinﬂammatory cytokines, especially TWEAK, and increase insulin and adiponectin, so as to improve patients’ muscle quality and strength.
The study provided a new perspective in looking for the causative factors in sarcopenia, and helped to describe key links in its onset, and set down a foundation for treatment and prevention. The article was China’s first in its field with an IF over 10. The team will look further into the paths of sarcopenia onset, build up comprehensive prevention and treatment modes so as to lower its general occurrence rate.