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Positive energy balance is associated with accelerated muscle atrophy and increased erythrocyte glutathione turnover during 5 wk of bed rest.

Biolo, Gianni and Agostini, Francesco and Simunic, Bostjan and Sturma, Mariella and Torelli, Lucio and Preiser, Jean Charles and Deby-Dupont, Ginette and Magni, Paolo and Strollo, Felice and di Prampero, Pietro E. and Guarnieri, Gianfranco and Mekjavic, Igor B. and Pisot, Rado and Narici, Marco V. (2008) Positive energy balance is associated with accelerated muscle atrophy and increased erythrocyte glutathione turnover during 5 wk of bed rest. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 88 (4). pp. 950-958. ISSN 0002-9165

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Physical inactivity is often associated with positive energy balance and fat gain. OBJECTIVE: We aimed to assess whether energy intake in excess of requirement activates systemic inflammation and antioxidant defenses and accelerates muscle atrophy induced by inactivity. DESIGN: Nineteen healthy male volunteers were studied before and at the end of 5 wk of bed rest. Subjects were allowed to spontaneously adapt to decreased energy requirement (study A, n = 10) or were provided with an activity-matched diet (study B, n = 9). Groups with higher (HEB) or lower (LEB) energy balance were identified according to median values of inactivity-induced changes in fat mass (DeltaFM, assessed by bioelectrical impedance analysis). RESULTS: In pooled subjects (n = 19; median DeltaFM: 1.4 kg), bed rest-mediated decreases in fat-free mass (bioelectrical impedance analysis) and vastus lateralis thickness (ultrasound imaging) were significantly greater (P < 0.03) in HEB(AB) (-3.8 +/- 0.4 kg and -0.32 +/- 0.04 cm, respectively) than in LEB(AB) (-2.3 +/- 0.5 kg and -0.09 +/- 0.04 cm, respectively) subjects. In study A (median DeltaFM: 1.8 kg), bed rest-mediated increases in plasma leptin, C-reactive protein, and myeloperoxidase were greater (P < 0.04) in HEB(A) than in LEB(A) subjects. Bed rest-mediated changes of glutathione synthesis rate in eythrocytes (l-[3,3-(2)H(2)]cysteine incorporation) were greater (P = 0.03) in HEB(A) (from 70 +/- 19 to 164 +/- 29%/d) than in LEB(A) (from 103 +/- 23 to 84 +/- 27%/d) subjects. CONCLUSIONS: Positive energy balance during inactivity is associated with greater muscle atrophy and with activation of systemic inflammation and of antioxidant defenses. Optimizing caloric intake may be a useful strategy for mitigating muscle loss during period of chronic inactivity.

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