miscle_tissueContractile-skeletal-striated muscle tissue is not just useful for locomotory purposes.
On the contrary, it is a metabolic regulator with important functions, being valuable to longevity.
However, according to nutritionist-powerlifter-medical doctor Mauro Dipasquale, “we carry our own fat, while our muscles carry us”.
Apart from thermogenesis and stimulation of Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR), skeletal muscles have abilities of critical importance.
Striated muscles support bones and skeleton, they are improving posture and contribute to proper breathing.
Intercostal muscles, sternocleidomastoids, serratus anterior and levator scapulae are secondary muscles, along with the main muscle of respiration, the diaphragm.
Contractile muscles affect protein metabolism, since muscles consist of protein and amino acids.
The role of proteins is fundamental, considering that their building blocks participate in formation of immuloglobulins (Ig A, D, E, G, M), enzymes and peptides or hormones.
Skeletal muscles are able to store 90% of glycogen in the body, leaving a small portion to the liver.
Moreover, they contain an amino acid pool, responsible for nitrogen retention.
These aminos are broken down in cases of stress, such as starvation and malnutrition.
Gluconeogenesis is a complex procedure, taking part in hepatic parenchyma.
From protein, glucose is produced, serving as immediate energy source for brain and muscles.
During trauma, or burns, aminos serve also as indirect energy source, through gluconeogenesis.
Glucagon is another regulator of glucogenolysis, under the presence of catecholamines and epinephrine, in particular.
Under muscle wasting condition, this supporting mechanism is compromised.
This obviously equals to slower recovery and recuperation.
Furthermore, BMR slows down that affects all organs activity.
Eventually, there is poor quality of living.
Aging process can actually lead to sarcopenia.
Striated muscles are characterized by severe atrophy.
Andropause is the result of hormonal decline and reflects on how contractile muscles look like.
Cachexia leads to elevated adipose tissue, which in turn elevates estrogens and beta estradiol (E2), particularly.
Elevated E2 increases SHBG, which lowers free-testosterone (FT).
In the bottom line, we conclude that the less muscles we preserve the more fat we gain and the lower libido we maintain.
Muscle catabolism is reversely proportional to BMR.
The more muscle tissue we have, the higher the metabolic activity and caloric expenditure.
It’s being evaluated that muscle wasting is mainly characterised from loss of fast twitch white muscle fibers (type II).
They are plenty in glycogen, responsible for explosive activity.
Low lactate threshold and poor in mitochondria.
Their neuroaxon is large, so that neuromuscular stimulus is transmitted rapidly.
Under autoimmune diseases (Systemic lupus erythematosus, Multiple sclerosis) or other chronic syndromes (AIDS, CRF), muscle degradation is something quite common.
These diseases are associated with chronic inflammation and lack of protein synthesis.
Cachexia is characterised from loss of 5% of body weight and drop of BMI within a year.
It is accompanied by loss of muscle strength, size and endurance.
Fatigue, anorexia are other symptoms.
Laboratory manifestations include elevation of CRP, IL-6, low serum albumin and anemia.
Patients who suffer from muscle wasting should follow a high protein, high carbohydrate diet, enriched with vitamins and minerals.
Leucine (a branced chain amino acid) and glutamine (a non essential amino acid) are important micronutrients, along with creatine.
HMB is leucine’s metabolite, being anticatabolic as well.
It has the ability to improve GH/IGF1 axis and boost anabolism.
AAS are valuable under such conditions and should be used under the guidance of a physician.
Of course, resistance training is necessary for further improvements.
It can also reverse osteopenia and improve dramatically bone mineral density (BMD).


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