In collaboration with Dr Phil Atherton at the University of Nottingham, Dr Leigh Breen (University of Birmingham) will lead a study to investigate whether a novel nutrient compound, phosphatidic acid, can be used to overcome the impaired muscle-building response in old muscles.
It is known that old muscles do not respond as effectively as young muscles to nutrition and exercise. This blunted response is thought to ‘drive’ muscle wasting in old age. Atherton and Breen have identified that phosphatidic acid has properties that may help to restore a ‘youthful’ muscle-building response in the old.
Abbeyfield has awarded £20,000 to perform pilot work to investigate this question further and the team will be seeking to recruit 16 older men aged between 65-75 yrs to assist us in this study. They will use sophisticated isotope tracer techniques and obtain small muscle tissue samples to understand how phosphatidic acid exerts its muscle-building properties in older muscles.