Whole-body electromyostimulation and protein supplementation favorably affect sarcopenic obesity in community-dwelling older men at risk: the randomized controlled FranSO study
Received 25 March 2017
Accepted for publication 5 May 2017
Published 21 September 2017 Volume 2017:12 Pages 1503—1513
Checked for plagiarism Yes
Review by Single anonymous peer review
Peer reviewer comments 2
Editor who approved publication: Dr Richard Walker
Wolfgang Kemmler,1 Anja Weissenfels,1 Marc Teschler,1 Sebastian Willert,1 Michael Bebenek,1 Mahdieh Shojaa,1 Matthias Kohl,2 Ellen Freiberger,3 Cornel Sieber,3 Simon von Stengel1
1Institute of Medical Physics, Friedrich-Alexander University of Erlangen-Nürnberg, Erlangen, Germany; 2Faculty of Medical and Life Science, University of Furtwangen, Schwenningen, Germany; 3Institute of Biomedicine of Aging, Friedrich-Alexander University of Erlangen-Nürnberg, Nürnberg, Germany
Background: Sarcopenic obesity (SO) is a geriatric syndrome characterized by the disproportion between the amount of lean mass and fat mass. Exercise decreases fat and maintains muscle mass; however, older people fail to exercise at doses sufficient to affect musculoskeletal and cardiometabolic risk factors. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of whole-body electromyostimulation (WB-EMS), a time-efficient, joint-friendly and highly individualized exercise technology, on sarcopenia and SO in older men.
Materials and methods: A total of 100 community-dwelling northern Bavarian men aged ≥70 years with sarcopenia and obesity were randomly (1–1–1) assigned to either 16 weeks of 1) WB-EMS and protein supplementation (WB-EMS&P), 2) isolated protein supplementation or 3) nonintervention control. WB-EMS consisted of 1.5×20 min (85 Hz, 350 µs, 4 s of strain to 4 s of rest) applied with moderate-to-high intensity while moving. We further generated a daily protein intake of 1.7–1.8 g/kg/body mass per day. The primary study end point was Sarcopenia Z-Score, and the secondary study end points were body fat rate (%), skeletal muscle mass index (SMI) and handgrip strength.
Results: Intention-to-treat analysis determined a significantly favorable effect of WB-EMS&P (P<0.001) and protein (P=0.007) vs control. Both groups significantly (P<0.001) lost body fat (WB-EMS&P: 2.1%; protein: 1.1%) and differed significantly (P≤0.004) from control (0.3%). Differences between WB-EMS&P and protein were significant for the Sarcopenia Z-Score (P=0.39) and borderline nonsignificant (P=0.051) for body fat. SMI increased significantly in both groups (P<0.001 and P=0.043) and decreased significantly in the control group (CG; P=0.033); differences between the verum groups and control were significant (P≤0.009). Handgrip strength increased in the WB-EMS group (1.90 kg; P<0.001; P=0.050 vs control) only. No adverse effects of WB-EMS or protein supplementation were recorded.
Conclusion: WB-EMS&P is a safe and efficient method for tackling sarcopenia and SO in older men. However, the suboptimum effect on functional parameters should be addressed by increased voluntary activation during WB-EMS application.
Keywords: sarcopenia, sarcopenic obesity, exercise, electrostimulation, older people
This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution - Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License. By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms.Download Article [PDF] View Full Text [HTML][Machine readable]