• Cocoa Flavanols Adjuvant to an Oral Nutritional Supplement Acutely Enhances Nutritive Flow in Skeletal Muscle without Altering Leg Glucose Uptake Kinetics in Older Adults.

      Sian, Tanver; Lund, Jonathan; Williams, John P
      Ageing is associated with postprandial muscle vascular and metabolic dysfunction, suggesting vascular modifying interventions may be of benefit. Reflecting this, we investigated the impact of acute cocoa flavanol (450-500 mg) intake (versus placebo control) on vascular (via ultrasound) and glucose/insulin metabolic responses (via arterialised/venous blood samples and ELISA) to an oral nutritional supplement (ONS) in twelve healthy older adults (50% male, 72 ± 4 years), in a crossover design study. The cocoa condition displayed significant increases in m. vastus lateralis microvascular blood volume (MBV) in response to feeding at 180 and 240-min after ONS consumption (baseline: 1.00 vs. 180 min: 1.09 ± 0.03, p = 0.05; 240 min: 1.13 ± 0.04, p = 0.002), with MBV at these timepoints significantly higher than in the control condition (p < 0.05). In addition, there was a trend (p = 0.058) for MBV in m. tibialis anterior to increase in response to ONS in the cocoa condition only. Leg blood flow and vascular conductance increased, and vascular resistance decreased in response to ONS (p < 0.05), but these responses were not different between conditions (p > 0.05). Similarly, glucose uptake and insulin increased in response to ONS (p < 0.05) comparably between conditions (p > 0.05). Thus, acute cocoa flavanol supplementation can potentiate oral feeding-induced increases in MBV in older adults, but this improvement does not relay to muscle glucose uptake.
    • The role of resistance exercise training for improving cardiorespiratory fitness in healthy older adults: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

      Doleman, Brett; Lund, Jonathan; Toft, Suzanne
      BACKGROUND: Declines in cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) and muscle mass are both associated with advancing age and each of these declines is associated with worse health outcomes. Resistance exercise training (RET) has previously been shown to improve muscle mass and function in the older population. If RET is also able to improve CRF, as it has been shown to do in younger populations, it has the potential to improve multiple health outcomes in the expanding older population. METHODS: This systematic review aimed to identify the role of RET for improving CRF in healthy older adults. A search across CINAHL, MEDLINE, EMBASE and EMCARE databases was conducted with meta-analysis performed on eligible papers to identify improvements in established CRF parameters (VO2 peak, aerobic threshold (AT), 6-minute walking distance test (6MWT) following RET intervention. Main eligibility criteria included older adults (aged over 60), healthy cohorts (disease-specific cohorts were excluded) and RET intervention. RESULTS: Thirty-seven eligible studies were identified. Meta-analysis revealed a significant improvement in VO2 peak (MD 1.89 ml/kg/min; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.21-2.57 ml/kg/min), AT (MD 1.27 ml/kg/min; 95% CI 0.44-2.09 ml/kg/min) and 6MWT (MD 30.89; 95% CI 26.7-35.08) in RET interventions less than 24 weeks. There was no difference in VO2 peak or 6MWT in interventions longer than 24 weeks. DISCUSSION: This systematic review adds to a growing body of evidence supporting the implementation of RET in the older population for improving whole-body health, particularly in time-limited timeframes.