Skeletal muscle is the most abundant tissue in the body. While we all know that muscle can regenerate after strain or injury, muscle loss related to aging, known as sarcopenia, is a different kind of problem. Sarcopenia occurs gradually after age 40, typically leading to a 30-50% decrease in muscle mass by age 80. Research on how this process occurs and how to slow it down has identified a number of contributing factors. These include protein synthesis, mitochondrial dysfunction, inflammation and reactive oxygen species.
Interestingly, one key step in this process is a reduction in or dysfunction of satellite cells – which are stem cells in muscle tissue. A study published in May 2021 looked at ways to activate muscle satellite cells in mice using a combination of molecular compounds used in stem-cell research. These compounds called Yamanaka factors after the scientist who discovered them, are proteins that control how DNA is copied for translation into other proteins.
Movement and exercise can help slow down this loss of muscle mass, as can other lifestyle changes, including caloric restriction or increased protein intake. A 2018 study reported that “changes in the satellite cell environment, rather than loss of function within satellite cells, during aging are likely to cause the dysfunction of satellite cells.”
Yamanaka factors have been used in longevity research to transform an adult cell into stem cells.
LWP PH8 Muscle & Connective Test Kit
LWP Histology Test Kit
LWP Amino Acids
Common Human Cell Structures