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Effectiveness of exercise and protein supplementation intervention on body composition, functional fitness, and oxidative stress among elderly Malays with sarcopenia

Authors Shahar S, Kamaruddin NS, Badrasawi M, Sakian NIM, Manaf ZA, Yassin Z, Joseph L

Received 16 April 2013

Accepted for publication 20 June 2013

Published 9 October 2013 Volume 2013:8 Pages 1365—1375


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Suzana Shahar,1 Norshafarina Shari Kamaruddin,2 Manal Badrasawi,1 Noor Ibrahim Mohamed Sakian,3 Zahara Abd Manaf,1 Zaitun Yassin,4 Leonard Joseph5

1Dietetic Programme, 2Biomedical Programme, 3Occupational Therapy Programme, School of Healthcare Sciences, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Jalan Raja Muda Abdul Aziz, Kuala Lumpur, 4Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Serdang, Selangor, 5Department of Physiotherapy, School of Healthcare Sciences, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Jalan Raja Muda Abdul Aziz, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Abstract: Sarcopenia, characterized as muscle loss that occurs with aging, is a major health problem in an aging population, due to its implications on mobility, quality of life, and fall risk. Protein supplementation could improve the physical fitness by increasing protein anabolism, and exercise has a documented evidence of positive effect on functional status among the elderly. However, the combined effect of both protein supplementation and exercise has not been investigated among sarcopenic elderly in the Asian population. Thus, this study aimed to determine the effectiveness of exercise intervention and protein supplementation either alone or in combination for 12 weeks, on body composition, functional fitness, and oxidative stress among elderly Malays with sarcopenia. Sixty five sarcopenic elderly Malays aged 60-74 years were assigned to the control group, exercise group (ExG), protein supplementation group (PrG), or the combination of exercise and protein supplementation group. A significant interaction effect between body weight and body mass index (BMI) was observed, with the PrG (-2.1% body weight, -1.8% BMI) showing the highest reductions. Further, there was a decrease in % body fat (-4.5%) and an increase in fat-free mass (kg) (+5.7%) in the ExG after 12 weeks (P < 0.05). The highest increments in lower and upper body strength were observed in the PrG (73.2%) and ExG (47.6%), respectively. In addition, the ExG showed a reduction in superoxide dismutase (SOD) levels, and both interventions did not alter either lipid or protein oxidation. In conclusion, the exercise program was found to improve muscle strength and body composition, while protein supplementation reduced body weight and increased upper body strength, among sarcopenic elderly in Malaysia.

Keywords: protein supplement, aging population, sarcopenic elderly, Malaysia, Asian

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