Summary of the Impact:

In Ireland, only 30% of women and 45% of men over 65 remain disability-free for life (O'Regan et al 2014). Dramatic changes in cells start in our 30s, while in our 40s, health and functionality are impacted by increasing weight gain, decreasing bone density and loss or weakening of muscle. People with low lean tissue or muscle mass are classified as sarcopenic. Conservative estimates predict that the incidence of sarcopenia will increase by 50% over the next 30 years, making it a major public health issue among Ireland’s increasing older population.

Research at the University of Limerick focuses on the preservation of muscle mass during ageing and provides evidence that sarcopenia can be offset by modifications to dietary habits. The research team have demonstrated that optimising the quality and timing of total daily protein intake decreases age-related loss of muscle mass. In addition, the team have collaborated with industry to commercialise nutrient supports that reduce age-related loss of muscle mass. This research has the potential to not only improve quality of life for seniors but also has significant economic implications. The direct health care cost attributable to sarcopaenia in the United States in 2000 was at $18.5 billion and the condition is estimated to affect over 200 million people globally by 2050 (Fielding et al, 2011).

This research has the potential to not only improve quality of life for seniors, but also has significant economic implications.

Sustainable Development Goals

References to the research

Evaluation of the antioxidant capacity of a milk protein matrix in vitro and in vivo in women aged 50-70 years

Authors: Power-Grant O, McCormack WG, Ramia De Cap M, Amigo-Benavent M, Fitzgerald RJ, Jakeman P.

Optimisation of an in vitro bioassay to monitor growth and formation of myotubes in real time

Authors: Murphy SM, Kiely M, Jakeman PM, Kiely PA, Carson BP

Dynamic measures of skeletal muscle dialysate and plasma amino acid concentration in response to exercise and nutrient ingestion in healthy adult males

Authors: McCormack WG, Cooke JP, O’Connor WT, Jakeman PM.

Antioxidative Peptides: Enzymatic production, in-vitro and in-vivo antioxidant activity and potential applications of milk-derived antioxidative peptides

Authors: Power O, Jakeman P, FitzGerald RJ.

Food protein hydrolysates as a source of dipeptidyl peptidase IV inhibitory peptides for the management of type 2 diabetes

Authors: Power O, Nongonierma AB, Jakeman P, FitzGerald RJ.

In vitro bioactive properties of intact and enzymatically hydrolysed whey protein: targeting the enteroinsular axis

Authors: Power-Grant O, Bruen C, Brennan L, Giblin L, Jakeman P, FitzGerald RJ.