Research Papers: Gerotarget (Focus on Aging):

Improved muscle function and quality after diet intervention with leucine-enriched whey and antioxidants in antioxidant deficient aged mice

Miriam van Dijk, Francina J. Dijk, Annelies Bunschoten, Dorien A.M. van Dartel, Klaske van Norren, Stephane Walrand, Marion Jourdan, Sjors Verlaan and Yvette Luiking _

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:17338-17355. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.7800

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Miriam van Dijk1, Francina J. Dijk1, Annelies Bunschoten2, Dorien A.M. van Dartel2, Klaske van Norren3, Stephane Walrand4, Marion Jourdan1, Sjors Verlaan1 and Yvette Luiking1

1 Nutricia Research, Nutricia Advanced Medical Nutrition, Utrecht, The Netherlands

2 Department of Animal Sciences, Human and Animal Physiology, Wageningen University, Wageningen, The Netherlands

3 Nutrition and Pharmacology, Wageningen University, Wageningen, The Netherlands

4 Unite de Nutrition Humaine, INRA-UdA, Clermont-Ferrand, France

Correspondence to:

Miriam van Dijk, email:

Keywords: sarcopenia, skeletal muscle, fatigue, antioxidants, Gerotarget

Received: December 21, 2015 Accepted: January 30, 2016 Published: February 29, 2016


Antioxidant (AOX) deficiencies are commonly observed in older adults and oxidative stress has been suggested to contribute to sarcopenia. Here we investigate if 1) low levels of dietary antioxidants had a negative impact on parameters of muscle mass, function and quality, and 2) to study if nutritional interventions with AOX and/or leucine-enriched whey protein could improve these muscle parameters in aged mice. 18-months-old mice were fed a casein-based antioxidant-deficient (lowox) diet or a casein-based control-diet (CTRL) for 7 months. During the last 3 months, lowox-mice were subjected to either: a) continued lowox, b) supplementation with vitamin A/E, Selenium and Zinc (AOX), c) substitution of casein with leucine-enriched whey protein (PROT) or d) a combination of both AOX and PROT (TOTAL). After 7 months lowox-mice displayed lower muscle strength and more muscle fatigue compared to CTRL. Compared to lowox-mice, PROT-mice showed improved muscle power, grip strength and less muscle fatigue. AOX-mice showed improved oxidative status, less muscle fatigue, improved grip strength and mitochondrial dynamics compared to lowox-mice. The TOTAL-mice showed the combined effects of both interventions compared to lowox-mice. In conclusion, nutritional intervention with AOX and/or leucine-enriched whey protein can play a role in improving muscle health in a AOX-deficient mouse model.

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