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Muscles help to increase life expectancy

University of California, Los Angeles on the basis of the conducted research put forward the theory that a large amount of muscle mass in humans in old age significantly reduces the risk of premature death. These studies confirm the facts about the importance of the total composition of the body. The peculiarities of the structure of the body, rather than the commonly used body mass index, are the most effective way of preventing early death.

The results of the study were published in the "American Journal of Medicine" and became the apogee of the experiment a little earlier. Led the experiment, Dr. Preti Srikantan (Preethi Srikanthan), clinical associate Professor, Department of endocrinology Medical School David Geffen, located at the University of California in Los Angeles. The experiment proved that building muscle mass significantly lowers the risk of developing metabolic syndrome.

"The measurement of body composition there is no gold standard. This was the subject of several studies and each had their own technique of measurement, and the result of each were obtained different results, " says Srikantan. – In addition, a considerable number of studies on the impact of obesity on mortality, is used as the main indicator, the body mass index (BMI). However, our experiment shows that doctors are advising the elderly for prevention of severe disease and early death, need to focus not only on BMI but also on improving body composition".

From 1988 to 1994 was conducted the third national screening Programme Health and Nutrition (National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, NHANES). The total number of subjects was selected the group consisting of 3659 women and men. Age category of men in the study ranged from 55 years and older, and women age category from 65 years and older. The second study was conducted in 2004. After analyzing the data of both studies, the researchers found a number of respondents died due to natural causes.

With the help of bioimpendancemetria (BIA), which represents the current through the body, was assessed the body composition of all subjects. The essence of bioimpendancemetria is that the current passes freely through muscle than fat because muscle tissue contains much more water. This method allowed the scientists to determine the ratio of muscle volume and human growth (index of muscle mass, like body mass index. The aim of the study was to determine the relationship between the index of muscle mass and the possibility of death.

In the end, it was identified that examined people with the most significantlevels of muscle mass had the lowest risk of death from all natural causes compared to those whose muscle volume was minimal.

According to one of the initiators of the study, Dr. Arun of Karlamangla (Arun Karlamangla, associate Professor of the Department of geriatrics Medical School David Geffen: "According to information received, the more muscle you have, the weaker appears the risk of premature death. Because of this, instead of worrying about weight or body mass index, people should maximize and keep muscle mass."

Of course, this work has some limitations. For example, it is not possible to establish a causal link between survival and the level of muscle mass on the basis of even such extensive studies, like NHANES III.

According to Srikanthan the level of muscle mass the most important prognostic risk factor for premature death. In addition, it is also important that bioelectrical impedance analysis is not the only possible measurement technique and not the most modern, although all measurements when conducting the NHANES III was carried out most thoroughly and most consistent level of research.

Srikantan and Karlamangla on the basis of the conducted research we made a conclusion: "Despite some limitations of the conducted research work and installed in the process data of the national large studies revealed is measured by the use of bioimpendancemetria level of muscle mass in the elderly is an independent prognostic factor. In this statement about the relationship of body mass index and mortality rate of older people has proved a complete failure. It is therefore extremely important to add the dimension of muscle mass relative to growth in a General survey of the elderly in passing medical examination. In addition, of great importance to conduct additional research to determine the necessary type and duration of training that increase muscle mass and consequently on life expectancy of the elderly".