How to Stop Muscle Mass Loss as you Age, Invite Health Podcast, Episode 629

How to Stop Muscle Mass Loss as you Age, Invite Health Podcast, Episode 629

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Please see below for a complete transcript of this episode.


Hosted by Amanda Williams, MD, MPH

*Intro Music*

InViteⓇ Health Podcast Intro: [00:00:04] Welcome to the InViteⓇ Health Podcast, where our degreed health care professionals are excited to offer you the most important health and wellness information you need to make informed choices about your health. You can learn more about the products discussed in each of these episodes and all that Invite Health has to offer at First time customers can use promo code podcast at checkout for an additional 15% off your first purchase. Let’s get started. † [00:00:34]

*Intro Music*

Amanda Williams MD, MPH: [00:00:40] As we grow older, we want to maintain our muscle mass and our energy. These are two areas that sometimes are overlooked, and you can probably look back and think of a relative that you know or a neighbor who is getting older and aging seems like they’re almost kind of just wasting away right in front of you. And this is technically known as Sarcopenia, which is the general loss of muscle mass that occurs with advancing age. But we know now that there’s many things that we can be doing to prevent this or slow this progression from occurring in the first place. So, I want to discuss that today. I’m Dr. Amanda Williams, scientific director at Invite Health. And when it comes to maintaining muscle mass, as we grow older, this is really very important because the muscles themselves they are supporting that underlying skeleton, which is why as you get older and perhaps more frail, you are more prone to having a fall because your muscles are weaker and then your bones are not as protected. So, the bones themselves are more prone to a fracture and the muscles themselves are just not doing what we need them to do to support us. So, sarcopenia is a major problem, and we know that there are many nutritional interventions that can slow this process along. We can look at the use of whey protein isolate as being one of the most key ways to prevent this. Oftentimes when people think about whey protein isolate, they think about muscle building, which is key, but they think about younger folks who are maybe going to the gym and working out. But this is certainly applicable to advanced aged individuals. So, as we are growing older, we can see from the scientific research, the important influence that whey protein isolate can have when it comes to supporting our overall muscle mass, and it actually can even help to support better circulating levels of B vitamins, which can help the body with the release of neurotransmitters to make us feel good. Because we know that with the aging process alone, sometimes people can kind of fall into a low mood state because, you know, they’re getting older. So having the whey protein isolate gives you a means to have better absorption of B vitamins, maintains steadier states of your B vitamins and to support your overall mood. At the same time, it also supports detoxification. We know those B vitamins are definitely critical when it comes to the way that the body detoxifies each and every single day.  † [00:03:19]

[00:03:20] We can also look at other nutrients that have been shown to be highly effective, including HMB, which you can find in our Active Hx formulation. HMB is, hydroxy methyl butyrate, this comes from the amino acid leucine. Which is very important when we think about what amino acids are doing in the body, which is why whey protein isolate is so beneficial, you get that spectrum of all of those key muscle building amino acids. And we certainly can see that when it comes to the use of Active Hx, that we can gain so many wonderful benefits. I want to talk a little bit about the science behind HMB, also known as hydroxy methyl butyrate. This is a compound that is formed naturally when your body breaks down the amino acid Leucine. What we know is that it works by helping to promote muscle building and at the same time it actually works to prevent muscle loss. Which is pretty fascinating in and of itself that we can use a formulation such as Active Hx to not only help to maintain that muscle mass, but to prevent any loss of muscle mass as we grow older, which is why so many people have tried our Active Hx and they feel really good when on this formulation because it also helps to enhance our energy production. HMB was initially studied in athletes, and they could see all of these positive effects even on body composition for weight and waist and abdominal circumference. So, when we think about getting older oftentimes people are carrying around a little bit excess belly fat, but they’re also losing muscle mass at the same time. So, we don’t have to be a performance athlete, we can certainly yield all of these benefits for just the aging process alone. And this is why when you think about sarcopenia, we should always be looking at the use of Active Hx, as part of our routine.  † [00:05:25]


 [00:05:25] We can also see how Vitamin D is also critical to this. Vitamin D has a very positive effect on overall muscle strength. And so, if we have low serum vitamin D levels, we are not having the right nutrients in terms of our dietary intake for amino acid exposure to even allow the body to make its own natural HMB. This is why adding in the whey protein isolate along with that Active HX can really help your muscles as you grow older, which we know in turn will help to support that underlying skeleton. And this is what we want, we want to be able to prevent that muscle wasting as we are growing older. Once we hit about 40 years old, we can start to see that we’re losing an estimated around 8 to 10% of muscle mass every single decade. And then that actually upticks a little bit once we hit about 70 years old, that we lose about 15% of our muscle mass. So, the more muscle mass we actually lose, the weaker we become, the more prone to falls and other injuries. And hence this is why HMB can be so incredibly helpful for the aging process.  † [00:06:37]

[00:06:37] Now let’s look at a study that zeroes in specifically at sarcopenia and functional frailty in older adults. This was published in the Journal of Nutrition Health Aging and assessing the efficacy of HMB, remember, that’s hydroxy methyl butyrate and how effective this can be when it comes to targeting muscle mass strength and the overall functionality. And we know that the effects of sarcopenia can be incredibly debilitating, and they are always seeking out ways to enhance the aging process. So, in this particular study, they actually did a meta-analysis where they were populating data, where HMB supplementation was utilized in individuals over the age of 60 years old, and they were looking at their outcomes when it came to lean body mass, when it came to handgrip, when it came to leg press strength. And all of these data points were then pooled together, and they could see an overall improvement in lean muscle mass and that preservation of muscle strength, which is very, very key when we think about frailty as we grow older. Certainly, another interesting aspect of HMB research which came out of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition was looking at how it was that not only that HMB was helping to support an increase in muscle mass, but it really came down to that muscle function and the supplementation of HMB increase muscle mass and strength in a variety of different clinical conditions that they were assessing. So, at the end of the day, we know that the addition of Active Hx as part of a supplementation routine will be incredibly advantageous. Now, I want to go back to DHEA, because DHEA should not be confused with the omega three fatty acid, DHA. DHEA is actually a hormone, and when we start to break down the importance of those chemical messengers in the body, we recognize that the hormonal balance drives so much of how we age. A lot of times we focus in on aspects of hormonal loss during menopause or andropause, and specifically part of that issue that occurs during both menopause and andropause is the loss of both DHEA and testosterone, which can weaken the muscles as well as we start to lose muscle mass over time in both men and women. So understanding how, you know, inflammation drives a lot of this, we can kind of start to zero in on why DHEA supplementation would be incredibly beneficial. So having your DHEA levels tested on a regular basis, which when you have the test done, it’s DHEA sulfate, very, very helpful. We know that levels of DHEA can fall by as much as 80 to 90% by the time we reach, you know, 70, 80 years old compared to where our levels were at 20 years old. And there have been multiple studies on DHEA. As a matter of fact, when you search DHEA through the National Library of Medicine, where all of the peer reviewed journals are housed, you’ll find over 15,000 papers that look at DHEA’s role in the body in some shape or form. So, we can see how reduced levels of DHEA have been linked with the pathophysiology of numerous age-related disease states, including cognitive decline, cardiovascular disease, bone loss, cancers, depression, sexual dysfunction, numerous inflammatory disorders.  † [00:10:50]

 [00:10:51] Which is why oftentimes, if I’m working with someone who has an autoimmune condition, I always encourage them to have their DHEA levels assessed. But at the end of the day, when it comes to age related muscle mass loss, this is an area that we always want to be able to zero in on. DHEA, we know is very cardioprotective, the American College of Cardiology published findings from a research university over in Sweden directly linking low DHEA levels to an increase in fractures in older men, men around the age of 70 years old when their DHEA levels were low. You could see an increased risk for fractures, but at the same time, they could also see an increased risk for coronary heart disease. So, we recognize that supplementation of DHEA can really give us this comprehensive way to protect our cerebrovascular system our, cardiovascular system and, of course, maintain healthy muscle mass as we grow older, which. is why, I oftentimes will encourage people to include DHEA as part of their, their wellness routine as you get older in age. So, we know that we can use whey protein isolate, we know that the benefits of whey protein isolate go far beyond those who just go to the gym and work out. We can see all of the different ways that whey protein is helping to support muscle mass, muscle tone, as well as enhancing the way that B vitamins are absorbed in our system, and this can be supportive when you think about detoxification as well as mood health. And so, these are kind of like the main takeaways is, we have to look at certain things in the body. We can assess our DHEA sulfate level; we can assess our vitamin D level. We know that the incorporation of DHEA as a supplement, vitamin D3 as a supplement can really give us a substantial amount of support when it comes to maintaining muscle mass. But there are these other unique ways that we can help to enhance muscle function as we grow older and protect that underlying skeleton with the utilization of whey protein isolate along with Active Hx, which contains that HMB. So that is all that I have for you for today. I want to thank you so much for tuning in to the Invite Health podcast. Remember, you can find all of our episodes for free wherever you listen to podcasts or by visiting Make sure that you subscribe, and you leave us a review. You can follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. And we will see you next time for another episode of the InviteⓇ Health Podcast.  † [00:10:51]

*Exit Music*


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