Why is this important?
Skeletal muscle accounts for a large part of our body composition and plays many vital roles in the body’s homeostasis, movement and general function. Age-associated decreases in muscle mass, strength, and quality is a progressive condition called sarcopenia, which can lead to significant decline in quality of life due to frailty and associated disabilities. In addition to its supportive and movement-based role, skeletal muscle is also the tissue responsible for the majority of glucose metabolism in the body. Therefore, muscle wastage also has implications for chronic metabolic conditions such as obesity and type 2 diabetes. While previous research has assessed the role of individual nutrients in muscle health, few have considered overall diet quality. In addition, no human research has addressed the role of the gut microbiota in muscle health. The current study looks at dietary patterns and quality, and the gut microbiota, and how they are associated with measures of muscle health.
How are we doing this study?
This study utilises data from the large Geelong Osteoporosis Study (GOS), which is a large, ongoing cohort study collecting clinical and lifestyle data from participants on a regular basis. Originally recruiting female participants in 1993, the GOS now has a wealth of data for both men and women spanning 25 years.
What are we hoping to find?
It’s hypothesised that great diet quality and a diet pattern including increased protein, fruits and vegetables will be associated with improved muscle health. In addition, increased diversity of the microbiota and potentially a greater relative abundance of certain bacteria may also be associated with improved muscle health. It is anticipated that findings from this study may inform recommendations for older populations regarding maintenance of muscle health.