Sarcopenia, a loss of muscle mass and function, is common during aging as well as during the progression of various (chronic) diseases. Muscle health is important because it allows mobility and independence.
BALANCING MUSCLE LOSS AND SYNTHESIS
One of the underlying aspects of muscle loss is an imbalance between muscle protein synthesis and muscle protein breakdown, resulting in net muscle degradation. When the decline in functional muscle mass becomes substantial, it is considered a serious medical condition that increases morbidity and mortality. In the elderly, it impairs mobility and negatively impacts independence in daily life. In many patients, it can also impact their health outcomes and the quality of life.
Together with partners, we perform research programs dedicated to muscle preservation and health.
INTERVENTIONS TARGETING MUSCLE MASS AND FUNCTION
The key to defining a nutritional approach for muscle loss are knowledge of the target populations as well as scientific insights into the underlying mechanisms. The approach should target muscle preservation by increasing the muscle mass and improving the performance, both of which benefit the clinical outcome.
In our own facilities and in collaboration with partners, Nutricia Research conducts in-depth research in the field of muscle and protein metabolism. This work varies widely: from hypothesis generation and explorative studies, to understanding the underlying mechanisms of muscle loss and the impact of nutrients, to research that investigates the mode of action and efficacy of our concepts and products.
We make use of preclinical in vitro and in vivo studies, as well as clinical studies in healthy individuals and specific patient populations. Depending on the stage of the project and the specific research question, appropriate techniques and facilities are selected.
PARTNERING FOR MUSCLE HEALTH
We work with national and international scientific experts at universities, with health care professionals at hospitals and other care facilities, as well as with specialised research centres. Moreover, we take part in public-private partnerships such as the Dutch Top Institute on Food and Nutrition, which performs research programs dedicated to muscle preservation and health.