The Exercise and Nutrition for Healthy AgeiNg (ENHANce) project: optimized and individualized anabolic interventions to improve physical performance in sarcopenic community-dwelling older persons.
Sarcopenia is the loss of muscle mass and function with ageing. It is a hot topic in geriatric medicine due to its increasing prevalence and far-reaching consequences such as immobility, falls, fractures and death. To treat sarcopenia, we developed the Exercise and Nutrition for Healthy AgeiNg (ENHANce) project, in which we examine the effect of proteins with or without omega-3 fatty-acid supplements on top of a physical exercise program. The effect on physical functioning after twelve weeks of intervention will be compared with a single or no intervention. In this project, four novelties are combined: 1) interventions (exercise and protein supplementation) are optimized according to the state of the art and individualized according to the needs and capabilities of each participant; 2) the additional effect of omega-3 supplementation is examined when combined with physical exercise and protein supplementation; 3) the underlying determinants that contribute to the mechanism of action of the interventions are examined in both blood and muscle samples; 4) the compliance with the interventions is measured objectively in order to take into account the level of compliance in the evaluation of the effects of the interventions. This project will provide the scientific basis that allows the development of a more effective treatment for sarcopenia. Our results will have far reaching implications in limiting future healthcare expenditure related to sarcopenia in older persons.