A recent study suggests that men who have low testosterone and Type-2 diabetes are at a greater risk of developing atherosclerosis than men who have diabetes but have normal testosterone levels. Atherosclerosis is a condition where plaque builds up in the arteries and inhibits blood flow.
Participants in the study included 115 men with Type 2 diabetes. They were all younger than 70 and had no history of heart disease. The researchers measured testosterone levels and atherosclerotic markers including intimal media thickening of the layers in the carotid artery, the presence of atherosclerotic plaques, function of the endothelial cells, and inflammatory markers.
They found that the men who had both low testosterone levels and Type 2 diabetes were six times more likely to have increased thickness of the carotid artery and endothelial dysfunction when compared with those who had normal testosterone levels. Fifty-four percent of the participants with low testosterone were found to be at higher risk for vascular disease, compared to only 10% of those with normal testosterone.
Researchers from the Hospital Universitario Sanatorio Guemes in Buenos Aires conducted the study. It was published online ahead of print on October 16, 2014 in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.
Atherosclerosis has been linked with blood clots and burst arteries as fats, cholesterol, and other harmful substances build up there. While maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly are the best ways to ward of atherosclerosis, previous studies suggest that supplements of CoQ10, aged garlic, and ashwagandha may all help as well.
Sarcopoenia is the degenerative loss of skeletal muscle mass, muscle quality and muscle strength that occurs with advancing age. While muscle loss is a natural part of aging, there are steps that can be taken to reduce it. Researchers suggest that a combination of resistance exercise, HMB and essential amino acids may help people maintain muscle health.
For their analysis, the researchers examined PubMed and Dialog medical research databases for studies published between January 2000 and October 2013. They measured the prevalence of sarcopenia, as well as the efficacy of physical interventions and nutritional supplementation in improving the symptoms of sarcopenia.
They found that resistance training was effective at improving muscle strength and physical performance. They also found that nutritional supplementation with leucine and HMB may improve muscle parameters.
Based on their findings, the researchers recommend supervised resistance exercise and supplements of essential amino acids with leucine and HMB to help people maintain muscle mass as they get older.
Researchers from the European Union Geriatric Medicine Society conducted this study. It was published on September 21, 2013, in the journal Age and Ageing.
Leucine is an essential amino acid that stimulates skeletal muscle protein synthesis, which starts the muscle building process. It is not, however, the only nutritional supplement that can help build muscle. Previous studies suggest that diary protein and creatine (which is found in red meat and supplemental form) may help as well.
HMB is a metabolite of the amino acid leucine. Recent studies have found that it may reduce the risk of sarcopenia and help support physical strength and functionality.