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episode #243

New Study: Muscle Mass Enhances Survivability of Chronic Disease!

April 17, 2023 in Podcast


In this episode, I discuss a five year observational study assessing the relationship between biochemical markers of nutritional status, body composition and survival in hemodialysis patients.

Fifty-three hemodialysis patients were included in the study. Serum albumin, prealbumin, and IL-6 levels were measured, as well as body weight, body mass index, fat content and muscle mass.

The results of the study correspond that a higher amount of muscle mass was associated with a better survival rate. The likelihood of surviving more than five years increased in each higher muscle mass quartile and was the highest for patients with the greatest muscle mass. 

This study clearly showed that, Independent of fat mass, survival was higher in those with higher muscle mass.

So the main conclusion is that our focus should be on prioritizing hypertrophy with resistance training to maintain or build muscle as we age. We get so caught up in losing fat mass but building muscle makes you more insulin sensitive and is also protective as we age!

Brian (1s):

Hello and welcome to the Get Lean and Eat Clean podcast. My name is Brian grn. I'm a certified health coach, trainer and author, and this podcast is for middle-aged men and women looking to optimize their health and get their bodies back to what it once was 10 to 15 years ago. I will give you simple, actionable items to get long-term sustainable results. Thanks for listening and enjoy the show. All right, welcome to the Get Lean E Clean podcast. My name is Brian Grn. Hope you had a great weekend. Hopefully you enjoying some great weather in your area. Chicago's definitely getting a nice stretch.

Brian (42s):

Supposed to be in the seventies this week and so definitely get outside, get some sun on the face. Go for those morning walks we talk about and hopefully you listen to my interview with DJ Trehan. I wanted to bring this up cuz it was Masters week and he was on the P G A tour for a long time. He won a couple times and just has a great story. So not only the lessons that golf taught him, but also how he had this healing journey with plant medicines, in particular Ayahuasca. And you're starting to hear the about this mo a little bit more in the mainstream for people, for people of all different types who are trying to maybe get, become more spiritual but also try to heal, you know, whether it's depression or whatever it is that they're short, those demons that they're fighting and, and it definitely brought him on this healing journey.

Brian (1m 27s):

So I thought it was an interesting story with DJ Trahan who played in the US Open, played in the masters, you know, congratulations John Ron, John Rom for winning the Masters 2023. So hopefully you checked that out as well. But I definitely inter, I definitely enjoyed my interview with DJ Trahan, so if you haven't listened to it, I think it's definitely worth a listen. That's episode 2 42, so check that one out. And on today's micro podcast, wanna bring another study up. I know you're enjoying those studies and Mike Musel has talked about this. He talked about it a few weeks ago, so I thought it would be beneficial to talk about because essentially it puts a spotlight on muscle mass. I think the spotlight goes a lot of times on losing fat, but I think we're starting to see with studies like this that muscle mass is protective and it mainly, it should be probably our main focus when it comes to health and the, and the title of the study was Higher Muscle Mass and Higher Serum pre album levels are associated with better survival in hemodialysis patients during a five year observational period.

Brian (2m 31s):

This is 2023 study done over a five year period. I'll put a link in the show notes so you can read more about it. I'm just gonna sort of give you the high level, a little bit of background. Dialysis is one of the most commonly used renal replacement therapies in patients with end stage renal disease. And so the mortality rate of hemodialysis patients is 15 to 20% with cardiovascular complications being the most common. And so essentially the aim of the study was to assess the relationship between certain biochemical markers of nutritional status, body composition survival in these hemodialysis patients. And so essentially they measured like the serum albumin, pre albumin i l six along along with body weight, body mass index fat and muscle mass.

Brian (3m 22s):

And they calculated this five year survival rate of these patients. So essentially the, the end conclusion of this study was the fact that there was a better survival rate, that muscle mass is protective and essentially the likelihood of surviving more than five years increased much higher in the MU when the individuals had higher muscle mass. So I think not only just in this study, I think in general, like if we have injuries and we are, you know, let's just say more fit or you know, have more muscle, I would, I would just believe that you would come back quicker.

Brian (4m 8s):

You would, you would, you would bounce back quicker. Obviously as you get older it's a little bit difficult when you get injuries to bounce back quicker, but I think you're putting the odds in your favor. And this study shows that the fact that the survival rate went, went up as muscle mass went up. And so they also measured this protein energy wasting marker called serum albumin and pre albumin and you know, a sudden drop in albumin is an ominous marker. So it indicates lower survival rates in general and the cutoff point for protein energy wasting serum albumin is 3.8 and 30 for serum pre albumin.

Brian (4m 50s):

So the result reveal a significant association between the, the s p, the serum pre albumin level and mortality. So patients with the CPA s, excuse me, s p a serum pre albumin level higher had a higher survival rate. So the result is sort of this association between increased muscle mass, decrease in mortality. So really interesting study obviously done on a certain specific group of individuals, but showing survival rates really linked to muscle mass and how protective it can be. So I think the moral of the story of the study was just another point that we should be prioritizing muscle as opposed to, you know, I think a lot of times in the health and wellness space, you know, and I'm, I've done this as well as, you know, we talk about, you know, fasting, we talk about, you know, like some people talk a lot about calorie restriction, but, and a lot of times in that sense are you really prioritizing muscle if you're talking about doing fasting all the time?

Brian (6m 1s):

I mean, trust me, I think that fasting can play a key role in, in generating, you know, giving you sort of this, how should I say, just giving you a boundaries when it comes to eating. So I think it's really important for that. But I think we've gotten a little bit too caught up in that sense because when you're restricting a lot of calories and you're fasting, you're not prioritizing muscle and prioritizing protein per se, right? So I think it just puts the spotlight back on what should we be doing? We should be prioritizing protein, sleep recovery and also hypertrophy through resistance training. And if you're doing resistance training, that's great, that's the first piece of the puzzle.

Brian (6m 45s):

But also you wanna make sure that you're prioritizing protein as well and eating enough if you're just lifting and then fasting for 22 hours, I mean essentially you're, you are doing a big piece of the puzzle, but you also have to make sure that you're getting quality nutrients as well. So I think it's that fine line you wanna balance and, and I think this study's just showing the fact that being in a higher muscle mass quartile, like as opposed as compared to others, puts a higher survival rate for patients in this study. And so I think we should sort of take that outlook when it comes to, as we get older, our first priority should be maintaining muscle mass and we have to do that through resistance training.

Brian (7m 33s):

So if you got 20 minutes in the day, should you go for a run or should you lift? I say you should lift, I'm not totally against doing some type of cardio, but I think that should be done as almost like the cherry on top, right? If you have, if you're, if you're getting in your, let's say three lifts a week and you wanna do a fourth day of, of maybe going for a light jog or doing some high intensity interval training, that's fine. But I think if you only have a, a couple times during the week to work out, I think you should, instead of going on the elliptical, start lifting some weights because muscle is not only great for insulin sensitivity, but it also as this study shows very protective as we age.

Brian (8m 18s):

So hopefully you found some benefits of this study. I think it just sort of enhances the fact. A lot of things that we do already talk about on this podcast and I'll leave a link in the show notes if you wanna read more of the details. Go ahead, be my guest. It's a pretty, I would say it's a pretty detailed study and definitely worth taking a look at. So anyways, thanks for listening so much. Hope you're enjoying these micro podcasts. Feel free to leave a a five star review with Love one and any feedback would be great. Throw it in the comments or shoot me an email brian brian grn.com and have a great rest of the the week. I will talk Dan Friday with another great interview.

Brian (8m 59s):

Thanks for listening to the Get Lean ean podcast. I understand there are millions of other podcasts out there and you've chosen to listen to mine and I appreciate that. Check out the show notes@briangrin.com for everything that was mentioned in this episode. Feel free to subscribe to the podcast and share it with a friend or family member that's looking to get their body back to what it once was. Thanks again and have a great day.

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