Interplay of stress and physical inactivity on muscle loss: Nutritional countermeasures

Douglas Paddon-Jones

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    55 Scopus citations


    Inactivity-mediated protein catabolism occurs in many circumstances ranging from catastrophic events such as severe illness or injury, to unique environments such as spaceflight/microgravity, to more insidious causes such as physical frailty and the progression of aging. Nevertheless, regardless of the etiology, the consequences of inactivity are readily observable and debilitating. Mechanistically, the loss of lean body mass during inactivity is the result of a chronic imbalance between muscle protein synthesis and breakdown. When inactivity is accompanied by the stress of trauma or disease, the rate of muscle protein catabolism can increase several fold. Bed rest studies in healthy volunteers provide a unique opportunity to examine the mechanisms contributing to muscle loss and evaluate strategies for intervention that may slow muscle catabolism and promote anabolism. The prerequisite for muscle protein synthesis and the most readily adaptable stimulus is dietary-derived amino acids. This review focuses on the role of amino acid supplementation in the maintenance of skeletal muscle mass during age-related and clinically mandated inactivity.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)2123-2126
    Number of pages4
    JournalJournal of Nutrition
    Issue number8
    StatePublished - 2006

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Medicine (miscellaneous)
    • Nutrition and Dietetics


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