25 November 2015

COUNTERSTRIKE – Counteracting sarcopenia with proteins and exercise

The prevention of age-related loss of skeletal muscle mass will have positive effects on each elderly person’s quality of life and simultaneously diminish the economic burden on society.

The main aim of COUNTERSTRIKE is to develop a tool for rapidly assessing age-related loss of skeletal muscle mass, termed sarcopenia, to find individual treatments to promote the maintenance of a healthy level of skeletal muscle mass.

The University of Copenhagen is running an ambitious intervention study Counteracting Age-related Loss of Skeletal Muscle Mass (CALM) aimed at providing evidence-based recommendations for alleviating sarcopenia through protein supplementation and exercise.

The project is collecting a large number of blood and faecal samples to determine the impact of increased protein intake and exercise on the gut microbiota and the blood metabolome.

COUNTERSTRIKE aims to complement the CALM project with a full metabolomics investigation of all samples in the CALM cohort with an emphasis on determining the lipoprotein particle distribution and linking this to gut microbiota, metabolomic potential and host physiological parameters focusing on skeletal muscle mass.

Global screening and individual counterstrike

Little is known about the effect of exercise. The rapid assessment of age-related loss of skeletal muscle mass, termed sarcopenia, is important for finding individual treatments to promote the maintenance of a healthy level of skeletal muscle mass. Illustration: Tim Newlin.

The lipoprotein particle distribution predicts cardiovascular outcomes and is associated with obesity and insulin resistance. Body weight decreases with age, whereas a more atherogenic lipid profile is common, but little is known about the lipoprotein particle distribution in elderly people or the effect of exercise.

It is the ambition of this consortium, including national and international, academic and industrial partners, to establish a rapid screening method to determine the lipoprotein particle distribution based on nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, apply it to the CALM cohort and link the results to gut microbiota and host metabolism, making them available for future research.

A new spectroscopy-based screening method will enable the global screening of elderly people to determine each individual’s health status and allow for an individual “counterstrike” against sarcopenia.

Original title: Counteracting Sarcopenia with proteins and exercise - screening the CALM cohort for lipoprotein biomarkers - COUNTERSTRIKE

 Start date: April 2015

 End date: March 2019

  Grant donor: Innovation Fund Denmark

  FOOD grant: DKK 8,907,000

  Total grant: DKK 15,633,000