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Urolithin A Supplement Shows Improvement in Muscle Endurance in Older Adults

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Urolithin A supplement promotes increase in muscle function in elderly

As we age, we experience a decline in muscle function and reduced exercise capacity, which can lead to loss of independence and increased risk of falls. Mitochondrial dysfunction is a key contributor to age-related muscle decline, and it has been suggested that improving mitochondrial health may help counteract this decline.

Urolithin A is a natural gut microbiome–derived food metabolite that has been shown to improve muscle function in older animals and induce mitochondrial gene expression in older humans. A randomized clinical trial investigated the effect of urolithin A supplementation on skeletal muscle performance and mitochondrial health in older adults.

Clinical trial

The study was conducted at a medical center and a cancer research center in Seattle, Washington, and included 66 adults aged 65 to 90 years. Participants were randomized to receive daily oral supplementation with either 1,000 mg urolithin A or a placebo for 4 months. Muscle fatigue tests and plasma analysis of biomarkers were assessed at baseline, 2 months, and 4 months.

The primary endpoint was a change from baseline in the 6-minute walk distance and a change from baseline to 4 months in maximal ATP production in the hand skeletal muscle. The secondary endpoints were changes in muscle endurance of 2 skeletal muscles (tibialis anterior [TA] in the leg and first dorsal interosseus [FDI] in the hand). Adverse events were recorded and compared between the 2 groups during the intervention period.

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Findings

The study found that urolithin A supplementation was safe and well-tolerated in the assessed population. Compared with placebo, urolithin A significantly improved muscle endurance (i.e., the number of muscle contractions until fatigue) in both the FDI and TA at 2 months. Plasma levels of several acylcarnitines, ceramides, and C-reactive protein were decreased by urolithin A, compared with placebo, at 4 months. However, the improvements in the 6-minute walk distance and maximal ATP production in the hand muscle were not significant in the urolithin A group compared with the placebo group.

Implications

These findings suggest that urolithin A may be a promising approach to counteracting age-associated muscle decline. The improvements in muscle endurance and plasma biomarkers indicate that urolithin A was beneficial for skeletal muscle performance and mitochondrial health in older adults. However, further research is needed to confirm these findings and determine the optimal dosage and duration of urolithin A supplementation.

Conclusion

Urolithin A is a natural gut microbiome–derived food metabolite that has shown promise in improving muscle endurance and mitochondrial health in older adults. This randomized clinical trial found that urolithin A supplementation was safe and well-tolerated in the assessed population and may be a promising approach to counteracting age-associated muscle decline. Future research is needed to confirm these findings and determine the optimal dosage and duration of urolithin A supplementation.

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JAMA, Jan-20-22



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This content is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of such advice or treatment from a personal physician. All readers/viewers of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. CenTrial Data Ltd. does not take responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content. Treatments and clinical trials mentioned may not be appropriate or available for all trial participants. Outcomes from treatments and clinical trials may vary from person to person. Consult with your doctor as to whether a clinical trial is a suitable option for your condition. Assistance from generative AI tools may have been used in writing this article.