The world population is aging rapidly. This growth of the aging population is accompanied by an increased number of frail elderly people who are at risk of adverse health outcomes such as disability, co-morbidity and mortality. A dominant feature of frailty is the age-related loss of muscle mass, strength and performance, also called sarcopenia. Resistance-type exercise training and dietary protein supplementation are considered promising strategies to reverse sarcopenia and subsequent frailty.
However, strong evidence for the impact of protein supplementation with or without resistance exercise in frail elderly people is scarce. Well-designed intervention studies in frail elderly people are needed to define new leads for the development of nutritional and exercise interventions to effectively prevent or treat the progressive loss of muscle mass, strength and physical performance with aging. Therefore, the aims of this thesis are to study 1) the impact of protein supplementation and 2) the impact of protein supplementation during prolonged resistance-type exercise training on muscle mass, strength and physical performance in frail elderly people.
Defence date: 07/06/13