Home Health Lean mass: a marker of health! – Targatocn.it

Lean mass: a marker of health! – Targatocn.it

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Look around! How many people can actually say they have an adequate weight? How many can claim to be in “normal weight”? The truth is, overweight and underweight have become the “new normal”. In both imbalances, whether by excess or by defect, what is lacking is an adequate presence of muscle mass.

Lean mass loss is much more prevalent than we can imagine. Toasting for weight loss, obtained as a result of a drastic and unbalanced diet, of a subtractive style, is not always appropriate, because many times we risk seriously endangering the health of our entire body system. We only worry about the pounds lost on the scales, regardless of the fact that in DIY low-calorie diets, we reduce our muscles to starvation.

That is to say “we lose weight and with that also our health“. And yes, because muscles are an important “marker” of health! There are many people who, regardless of their weight, have a picture of undernutrition and muscle deficiency. Their cells are starved and overloaded with their tasks.

There are several factors that are contributing to this troubling loss of lean mass. Among the most relevant there is certainly the poor quality of our food. Our organism is slowly and inexorably weakening and poisoning, due to a food increasingly lacking in nutrients and rich in cytotoxic and genotoxic chemicals, capable of going to modify our genetics, that is to influence the action of our genes , inhibiting or stimulating its functionality. Furthermore, the toxins deposited in our tissues prevent cells from working efficiently, while our excretory organs are losing the ability to purify us of all those endogenous and exogenous metabolic wastes that are transforming our organisms into real dumps.

Going in shortage of essential nutrients, over time, leads the body to weaken and age prematurely. You may have never thought about it, but in the long run this deficit also affects our muscle mass. An unbalanced nutritional intake of macro and micronutrients leads to a loss of muscle with consequences that involve organs, metabolic systems and entire systems.

I am not speaking only of loss of physical strength or of muscle-skeletal elasticity and endurance, but also of interference at the level of the nervous system. Very recent studies have confirmed that the loss of muscle strength has a negative impact in terms of psychoemotional disability and frailty. But not only! There is also a direct correlation with a decline in cognition and an increase in early dementia. That is to say: “Less muscle does not only mean physical decline, but also cognitive decline”.

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Almost always, a lack of lean mass correlates with an excess of fat mass. An unbalanced diet and little exercise contribute to increasing visceral fat. This type of tissue produces pro-inflammatory cytokines that can accelerate muscle breakdown. Obesity and muscle weakness are both associated with high levels of pro-inflammatory molecules. But vitamin deficiencies can also worsen the picture. Think what a shortage of vitamin D it is related to the loss of muscle mass among women, regardless of body composition, diet and hormonal status. In short, lean mass must be considered a real ‘treasure’ that must be preserved and strengthened from adulthood.

Of course, having a balanced diet is very important, but we must take into account that there are other negative factors: an inadequate intake of proteins (I mean from a qualitative and not a quantitative point of view); hormonal changes; excess of some pro-inflammatory proteins (such as gluten and caseins); decrease or total absence of physical activity (muscles not stressed by movement are degraded by inflammatory processes, especially in genetically predisposed people or with chronic degenerative diseases); gastrointestinal alterations and malabsorption.

We have already discussed the importance of ensuring efficient digestion in previous articles. It is essential to have a digestive system capable of carrying out its delicate task of transformation, absorption of nutrients and elimination of toxins and metabolic waste. Underestimating this aspect is very dangerous. Other key players in the health of our muscles are hormones. Testosterone, in particular, plays a central role, as it contributes to the increase of lean mass and activates satellite cells, which support the optimization of muscle functions.

When there is an alteration in the production of testosterone not only there is a decrease in the synthesis of muscle proteins, but also a lower production of cells essential for muscle repair. Testosterone is the main male hormone (androgens) and in humans it is mostly produced in the testicles. Instead, women produce testosterone in the ovaries and adrenal glands in a much smaller percentage than men. Testosterone levels physiologically decline with age. This process is part of normal aging, but there are other factors that can instead contribute to the “non-physiological” lowering of this “friendly to our muscles” hormone. These include obesity and an unregulated lifestyle. Its decrease is always found in the presence of some pathologies chronic as the type 2 diabetes, the liver disease and kidney, i autoimmune disorders.

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The abuse of drugs such as antidepressants or pain relievers can also affect their endogenous synthesis. On the contrary, the factors that guarantee a good regulation are a correct intake of proteins and physical exercise. For example, an adequate supplement of natural proteins, such as those contained in seaweed, can stimulate and facilitate the building of lean mass, slowing its loss, with a consequent increase in muscle strength and endurance.

In this regard, the integration of blue-green microalgae such as Spirulina, Klamath and Chlorella. All three are great examples of protein foods. They are very rich in proteins and contain all the essential amino acids, but also trace elements, vitamins, enzymes, polyunsaturated fats, chlorophyll and pigments.

Many qualities are attributed to them, among which I remind you of a detoxifying effect from heavy metals and strengthening the immune system. Among the various species of brown algae, Wakame is the richest source of proteins, with an average content of 16.3 grams per hectogram of product. Its amino acid profile and its protein quality indices are good. One of the most interesting nutritional aspects, speaking of marine algae, but above all of microalgae, is their high protein content (up to 65% of the dry weight) which distinguishes them from any other food source of plant origin. Furthermore, they are noble proteins, of high quality, because they include all the essential amino acids.

This feature gives us the opportunity to consider them a valid alternative to meat. In our diet we must not lack proteins (vegetable and / or animal) because they are essential for creating and repairing muscle tissues. For those who already show signs of unbalanced muscles, adequate protein intake is also important to allow for optimal endogenous protein synthesis. All essential amino acids help maintain lean mass. An essential amino acid is not synthesized in our body, which is why it must be taken with food: meat, fish, eggs, nuts, peanuts, quinoa, beans, lentils, chickpeas, pistachios, potatoes, mushrooms, algae. Some combinations, such as cereals and legumes (corn and beans, soy and rice, red beans and rice), contain all the essential amino acids necessary for humans in adequate quantities. But nutrition alone is not enough! Our muscles need to be trained.

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Physical inactivity is one of the main factors responsible for the lack of muscle mass. Regular resistance exercises can help to maintain muscle mass and strength, but it must be a targeted and personalized physical activity in order not to stress the joints too much, inflaming them. Resistance training is effective in preventing and slowing sarcopenia, even among the elderly. This type of training helps against muscle hypertrophy and causes beneficial changes in neuromuscular functions.

Another “enemy” of our muscles is alcohol. It along with drugs kills neurons. These include motor neurons (or motor neurons). They are the nerve cells that are found inside the central nervous system, whose job is to transfer the signal outside of it to control the muscles and their movement.

This neural destruction leads to a decrease in the number and size of muscle fibers, an imbalance in muscle strength and a decreased functional capacity. In short, the health of our muscles depends on several factors. Do not underestimate this aspect, because a good and healthy musculature will guarantee you greater resistance and the ability to recover from the thousands of stressful stresses of everyday life.

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