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Monaldi Arch Chest Dis. 2010 Mar;73(1):25-33.

Comprehensive effects of supplemented essential amino acids in patients with severe COPD and sarcopenia.

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U.O.C. di Pneumologia, ULSS22 Regione Veneto, Ospedale Orlandi, Bussolengo, Verona, Italy.



Aim of the study was to investigate whether or not oral supplementation of essential amino acids (EAAs) may improve body composition, muscle metabolism, physical activity, cognitive function, and health status in a population of subjects with severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and sarcopenia.


Thirty-two patients (25 males) (FEV1/FVC < 40% predicted), age 75 +/- 7 years, were randomised (n = 16 in both groups) to receive 4 gr/bid EAAs or placebo according to a double-blind design. When entered the study (T0), after four (T4), and after twelve (T12) weeks of treatments, body weight, fat free-mass (FFM), plasma lactate concentration (micromol/l), arterial PaCO2 and PaO2, physical activity (n degree steps/day), cognitive function (Mini Mental State Examination; MMSE), health status (St. George's Respiratory Questionnaire; SGRQ) were measured.


EAAs supplemented, but not patients assuming placebo, progressively improved all baseline variables overtime. In particular, at T12 of EAAs supplementation, body weight (BW) increased by 6 Kg (p = 0.002), FFM by 3.6 Kg (p = 0.05), plasma lactate decreased from 1.6 micromol/l to 1.3 micromol/l (p = 0.023), PaO2 increased by 4.6 mmHg (p = 0.01), physical activity increased by 80% (p = 0.01). Moreover, the score for cognitive dysfunction improved from 19.1 scores to 20.8 (p = 0.011), while the SRGQ score also improved from 723 to 69.6 even though this trend did not reach the statistical significance. CONCLUSIONS. A three-month EAAs supplementation may have comprehensive effects on nutritional status; muscle energy metabolism; blood oxygen tension, physical autonomy; cognitive function, and perception of health status in patients with severe COPD and secondary sarcopenia.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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