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J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2017 Jul 25. doi: 10.1093/gerona/glx141. [Epub ahead of print]

Nutritional Supplementation With Physical Activity Improves Muscle Composition in Mobility-Limited Older Adults, The VIVE2 Study: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial.

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Nutrition, Exercise Physiology, and Sarcopenia Laboratory, Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging, Tufts University, Boston, Massachusetts.
Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism, Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Uppsala University, Sweden.
Institute for Aging Research, Hebrew SeniorLife, Boston, Massachusetts.
Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts.
Department of Laboratory Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.



Nutritional supplementation and physical activity have been shown to positively influence muscle mass and strength in older adults. The efficacy of long-term nutritional supplementation in combination with physical activity in older adults remains unclear.


Mobility-limited (short physical performance battery [SPPB] ≤9) and vitamin D insufficient (serum 25(OH) D 9-24 ng/mL) older adults were recruited for this study. All subjects participated in a physical activity program. Subjects were randomized to consume a daily nutritional supplement (150 kcal, 20 g whey protein, 800 IU vitamin D, 119 mL beverage) or placebo (30 kcal, nonnutritive, 119 mL). In a prespecified secondary analysis, we examined total-body composition (dual energy X-ray absorptiometry), thigh composition (computed tomography), and muscle strength, power, and quality before and after the 6-month intervention.


One hundred and forty-nine subjects were randomized into the study [mean (standard deviation, SD) age 78.5 (5.4) years; 46.3% female; mean (SD) short physical performance battery 7.9 (1.2); mean (SD) vitamin D 18.7 (6.4) ng/mL]. After the intervention period both groups demonstrated improvements in muscle strength, body composition, and thigh composition. Nutritional supplementation lead to further losses of intermuscular fat (p = .049) and increased normal muscle density (p = .018).


Six months of physical activity resulted in improvements in body composition, subcutaneous fat, intermuscular fat, and strength measures. The addition of nutritional supplementation resulted in further declines in intermuscular fat and improved muscle density compared to placebo. These results suggest nutritional supplementation provides additional benefits to mobility-limited older adults undergoing exercise training. Identifier: NCT01542892.


Elderly; Exercise; Protein; Sarcopenia; Vitamin D

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