MIlkMAN: MIlk Intervention Muscle Ageing
Principal Investigator: Dr Antoneta Granic
The Milk in Muscle AgeiNg study has now completed. This pilot RCT recruited 30 older people with functional impairment, successfully delivered a 12 week programme of gym-based resistance exercise training in the community, and compared the effects of whole milk, skimmed milk or a non-milk comparator drink in augmenting the effects of resistance training. MilkMAN provides a template for a future programme of related studies delivering exercise and nutrition interventions to prevent or treat sarcopenia and frailty in older people.
This pilot study examines the feasibility and acceptability of consumption of 1 litre (l) of milk (whole and skimmed, 2 × 500ml) after a resistance exercise session twice a week over the period of 6 weeks as an intervention in community-dwelling older adults (aged ≥65 years) at risk of sarcopenia.
With age, older adults may experience a loss of muscle mass and strength (sarcopenia) which puts them at increased risk of poor health and difficulties with completing day to day tasks. This loss can be accelerated by additional risk factors such as chronic diseases, inactivity, reduced mobility, and poor diet. Eating the correct amount of protein in our diet in combination with a type of exercise (resistance exercise) that uses, for example, dumbbells or any other object that causes the muscles to work harder against them, is an effective intervention to counteract muscle ageing.
However, experts are not clear whether protein should be given as a supplement or within protein rich whole foods that are readily available. We want to find out if (whole) milk, which is a source of high-quality proteins, minerals, vitamins, and bioactive fats, in combination with resistance exercise may provide an effective whole food-based intervention to improve muscle health and physical performance in older people at risk of sarcopenia.
The primary aim of the study is to examine whether milk (whole and skimmed) in combination with resistance exercise is achievable and acceptable intervention to older adults aged 65 and over who live in their own homes in the community and are at risk of sarcopenia.
The secondary aim of the study is to find out if milk (whole and skimmed) in combination with resistance exercise improves muscle health and function as well as quality of life in older adults at risk of sarcopenia.
The overarching aim of this pilot study is to collect data to inform the development of a future definitive clinical trial with milk and other ‘myoprotective foods’ to delay the onset or prevent sarcopenia in community-dwelling older adults utilising a ‘whole food approach’.
Further investment to support continued work beyond BRC funding of the pilot study will be sought from the NIHR Efficacy and Mechanism (EME) Programme.
This funding source is of particular relevance to the continued development of findings from our pilot study and the considered potential of MilkMAN to contribute to patient and public benefit within 5 years as it supports clinical trials, and other robustly designed studies that test the efficacy of interventions that have the potential to improve patient care or benefit the public, and where there is sufficient evidence that the intervention might work in men, i.e. that there is ‘proof of concept’.