Taking care of the elderly is a big job, and preventive care is extremely important. Many health issues arise as a result of muscle weakness, but a recent study shows those involved in senior care may have a new way to combat this problem.
Researchers from the University of Iowa spent some time looking at senior citizens and found that weight and muscle loss is often due to the protein ATF4. This protein blocks other proteins necessary to maintain muscle strength. It was recently found that ursolic acid (found in apple peels) and tomatidine (contained in green tomatoes) may help block the effects ofATF4, restoring muscle strength to that of a young adult.
In the study, researchers used elderly mice with muscle weakness and atrophy and fed them diets lacking or containing either 0.27 percent ursolic acid or 0.05 percent tomatidine for two months. Both compounds were found to increase muscle mass by about 10 percent and increased muscle strength by 30 percent which is the equivalent of returning muscle ability to that of a young adult.
This is another example of how consuming a healthy diet can provide solutions to age-related issues. Instead of serving our seniors liquid supplements which have very little nutritional value, we would serve them better to incorporate whole foods into their diet so they can reap the benefits of studies such as this.
Regaining muscle strength will help senior citizens maintain their independence and have less issues with falling, a common problem among the elderly. As more studies are done in this area, we hope to share more about how foods such as apple peels and green tomatoes can help senior citizens regain muscle strength. For more information on senior care, contact us.