No effect of anti-inflammatory medication on postprandial and postexercise muscle protein synthesis in elderly men with slightly elevated systemic inflammation

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Abstract

Background:

Based on circulating C-reactive protein (CRP) levels, some individuals develop slightly increased inflammation as they age. In elderly inflamed rats, the muscle response to protein feeding is impaired, whereas it can be maintained by treatment with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). It is unknown whether this applies to elderly humans with increased inflammation. Thus, the muscle response to whey protein bolus ingestion with and without acute resistance exercise was compared between healthy elderly individuals and elderly individuals with slightly increased inflammation ± NSAID treatment.

Methods:

Twenty-four elderly men (> 60 years) were recruited. Of those, 14 displayed a slightly increased systemic inflammation (CRP > 2 mg/l) and were randomly assigned to NSAID (Ibuprofen 1800 mg/day) or placebo treatment for 1 week. The remaining 10 elderly individuals served as healthy controls (CRP < 1 mg/l). The muscle protein synthetic response was measured as the fractional synthetic rate (FSR) and p70S6K phosphorylation-to-total protein ratio.

Results:

The basal myofibrillar FSR and the myofibrillar FSR responses to whey protein bolus ingestion with and without acute resistance exercise were maintained in inflamed elderly compared to healthy controls (p > 0.05) and so was p70S6K phosphorylation. Moreover, NSAID treatment did not significantly improve the myofibrillar and connective tissue FSR responses or reduce the plasma CRP level in inflamed, elderly individuals (p > 0.05).

Conclusion:

A slight increase in systemic inflammation does not affect the basal myofibrillar FSR or the myofibrillar FSR responses, which suggests that elderly individuals with slightly increased inflammation can benefit from protein ingestion and resistance exercise to stimulate muscle protein anabolism. Moreover, the NSAID treatment did not significantly affect the myofibrillar or connective tissue FSR responses to protein ingestion and acute resistance exercise.

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