A worrisome issue faced by aging people is the gradual loss of muscle mass that starts to accelerate past the age of 50. The medical term for this muscle loss is sarcopenia, and it only gets worse if you don’t do something to stop it.
One of these measures is a naturally occurring acid found in apples. Keep reading, and be willing to add another weapon to your anti-aging arsenal.
What Causes Muscle Loss?
It’s a physiological fact. People over the age of 30 begin to lose muscle mass. They can lose between 3% and 5% per decade. It kicks in after age 50, and people can lose between 0.5 and 1% muscle mass per year…UGH!
If you don’t take action, muscle mass loss can contribute to increasing frailty, as you get older. It also contributes to the loss of bone density and strength. This enhances the risk of fractures since bones rely on muscle to stimulate their growth.
There are several reasons why muscle mass loss starts to speed up in older people such as:
1. Inflammation. By their mid-forties, many people have chronic inflammation widespread throughout their body in varying degrees. The older you get, the more inflammation you can have. This insidious affliction can affect muscles and joints, making them achy and stiff.
2. Inactivity. As people get older, they all-too-often tend to get lazier and spend a lot of time sitting, especially if they work in an office. Muscles then begin to weaken and shrink.
3. Lack of protein. The typical American diet is front-loaded with unhealthy fats and simple, processed carbohydrates, and low in protein. This troubling pattern seems to get worse as people get older. Also, poor digestion and absorption of nutrients can contribute to low protein intake.
4. The decrease in hormones. Around 30, muscle-building hormones start to go into a precipitous decline in both men and women. This includes such vital hormones as testosterone, human growth hormone, and insulin growth factor.
Faced with this grim reality, many aging people only throw up their arms in complete, abject and total surrender, blaming their increasingly flabby, disgusting reflection in their mirror as “natural” and “it happens to everyone that gets old.” NO, IT DOESN’T!
Don’t despair…you can fight back…here’s how
You’ve heard it from your mom: “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” And it’s true. Mother Nature, in her infinite wisdom, has given us an incredible natural acid found in apple peels called ursolic acid. This amazing substance helps build muscle and blowtorch fat. It also reduces inflammation throughout the body by mimicking the corticosteroid dexamethasone.
A recent study out of the University of Iowa has shown that ursolic acid boosts muscle growth up to 15% in lab animals and reduced body fat by more than one-half. It also reduced blood sugar, cholesterol levels, and decreased harmful blood fatty acids which can lead to arterial plaques. Research indicates that ursolic acid works by reprogramming genes that cause muscle wasting and fat gain.
The researchers concluded that ursolic acid could be what’s needed to put the brakes on age-related muscle loss. It could prove to be invaluable in reducing frailty (with its complications) in older people.
Also, ursolic acid may be useful in treating obesity-related diabetes and middle-age fat gain. Studies are underway to clinically study the effects in humans, but body builders have been using ursolic acid for several years now.
Actions you can take right now to prevent muscle loss
If you are worried about the treason that your body is committing, the time to swing into action is now…not years from now, but now. Here are a few recommendations.
1. Eat more protein. Forget the warnings from pencil-necked researchers who still say that they “can prove on paper that protein does not build muscle.” Just go to a gym and ask the weightlifters and bodybuilders what they think. Then form your conclusion. Aim to consume at least between 0.5 to 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight daily to help your muscle grow and stay healthy. This means if you weigh 160 lbs, you should be eating anywhere from 80-160 grams of protein a day.
2. Resistance training. Free weights, kettlebells, weight machines, and body weight calisthenics are all forms of resistance training that can build muscle. Strive for 3-4 times a week, for at least 30 minutes, but no more than one hour per training session.
3. Consider hormone replacement therapy. This site is loaded with the facts on hormone replacement therapy (HRT). Educate yourself, and consider giving it a try. Also, there are many natural hormone precursors like DHEA and herbal products that can help restore falling hormone levels. Research, then proceed slowly.
4. Ursolic acid supplements. If you want to try ursolic acid, there are several manufacturers on the market. Many come in different dosages, most commonly 50 mg. It is not recommended to go over 300 mg a day to start. And don’t forget to eat apples!
Preventing muscle loss and fat gain are so important to your continued good health. Following the recommendations above can help you stay at a healthier weight with better muscle mass. Taking ursolic acid may also just be the edge to help further prevent muscle loss as you get older.
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