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    Keywords: GROWTH ; tumor ; Germany ; MORTALITY ; NEW-YORK ; RISK ; PROTEIN ; PATIENT ; TUMOR-NECROSIS-FACTOR ; INTERVENTION ; treatment ; PLASMA ; DECREASE ; AGE ; MUSCLE ; AMINO-ACIDS ; OXIDATIVE STRESS ; ANTIOXIDANT ; aging-related wasting ; ALPHA-LIPOIC ACID ; antioxidants and aging ; cysteine ; ELDERLY HUMANS ; INJURIOUS FALLS ; MUSCLE PROTEIN-SYNTHESIS ; muscular aging ; P70 S6 KINASE ; PLASMA REDOX STATE ; RAT SKELETAL-MUSCLE ; RESISTANCE EXERCISE ; role in aging ; tumor necrosis factor in aging
    Abstract: Aging-related loss of muscle function is a predictor of mortality and a surrogate parameter of the aging process. Its consequences include a high risk for falls, hip fractures, and loss of autonomy. Aging is associated with changes in the oxidant/antioxidant balance including a decrease in plasma thiol (cysteine) concentration. To assess the importance of cysteine, we determined in a double-blind study the effects of N-acetylcysteine on the functional capacity of frail geriatric patients and their response to physical exercise. The subjects on placebo showed only a relatively weak response, and 31% showed even a decrease in more than one parameter during the observation period. Low plasma arginine levels were correlated with a weak overall performance before exercise and a poor response to exercise. N-Acetyl-cysteine strongly enhanced the increase in knee extensor strength and significantly increased the sum of all strength parameters if adjusted for baseline arginine level as a confounding parameter. N-acetylcysteine had no significant effect on growth hormone and IGF-1 levels but caused a significant decrease in plasma TNF-alpha. These findings may provide a basis for therapeutic intervention and suggest that the loss of function involves limitations in cysteine and one or more other amino acids which may compromise muscular protein synthesis
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 12601528
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