Essential amino acid and carbohydrate supplementation ameliorates muscle protein loss in humans during 28 days bedrest

Douglas Paddon-Jones, Melinda Sheffield-Moore, Randall Urban, Arthur P. Sanford, Asle Aarsland, Robert R. Wolfe, Arny A. Ferrando

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196 Scopus citations


We determined whether essential amino acid and carbohydrate supplementation could offset the catabolic response to prolonged inactivity. Major outcome measures included mixed muscle fractional synthetic rate (FSR), phenylalanine net balance, lean leg mass, and leg extension strength. On d 1 and 28, vastus lateralis muscle biopsies and femoral arteriovenous blood samples were obtained during a primed constant infusion of L-[ring-2H5] phenylalanine. Net balance and FSR were calculated over 16 h, during which the control group (CON) received a nutritionally mixed meal every 5 h (0830, 1330, and 1830 h). The experimental group (EXP) also consumed 16.5 g essential amino acids and 30 g carbohydrate (1100, 1600, and 2100 h). The dietary regimen was maintained during bedrest. FSR was higher in the EXP group on d 1 (EXP, 0.099 ± 0.008%/h; CON: 0.075 ± 0.005%/h) and d 28 (EXP, 0.093 ± 0.006%/h; CON, 0.055 ± 0.007%/h). Lean leg mass was maintained throughout bedrest in the EXP group (+0.2 ± 0.3 kg), but fell in the CON group (-0.4 ± 0.1 kg). Strength loss was more pronounced in the CON group (EXP, -8.8 ± 1.4 kg; CON, -17.8 ± 4.4 kg). Essential amino acid and carbohydrate supplementation may represent a viable intervention for individuals at risk of sarcopenia due to immobility or prolonged bedrest.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4351-4358
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2004


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism

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