5

votes

The underappreciated role of muscle in health and disease?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created April 11, 2013 at 2:18 AM

http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/84/3/475.full

Any thoughts on this article? I found it interesting how muscle mass seems to be protective against stress, cancer, diabetes, heart disease etc. Might paleo be healthy because it ensures quality protein and possibly better digestion (for those sensitive to grains/gluten/wheat) and therefore superior protein digestion, body Recomposition, and muscle gains?

3a9d5dde5212ccd34b860bb6ed07bbef

(1782)

on April 14, 2013
at 01:14 PM

No problem. I've thought long and hard about this, and have tried putting on muscle mass while eating a high calorie, very low carb diet. Didn't work at all. My personal experience shows me that starchy carbohydrates drive muscle growth to a large degree. Of course, I don't ignore protein and fat either...just saying that including more starch has been the best idea I was always weary of trying.

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on April 12, 2013
at 06:26 PM

Lots of underweight pimply kids at 14. Give me an example of someone in their mid 20s who used lifting and not diet to correct an illness. Just playin devils advocate.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on April 12, 2013
at 03:38 PM

Cool man, thanks for the article!

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on April 12, 2013
at 03:36 PM

Jack Lalane was super skinny and severely underweight at age 14ish, he got inspired by some motivational speaker at a church and cleaned up his diet and started working out. He talks about how he used to have spots all on his face with extreme anxiety. That's pretty much why he then devoted his life to health, invented the Pull Down Machine, along with most the workout machinery you see in a gym and the Jumping "Jack" was coined by him.

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on April 12, 2013
at 01:12 PM

I guess, I don't know enough about foreveryoung or Jack Lalanne -- were either of them unhealthy and improved their health via putting muscle on? Both seem like people who were always able to maintain a pretty muscular physique...

C2fefd191418f9a7bd691077ab9b527a

(287)

on April 11, 2013
at 02:52 PM

I agree, stephen. I didn't mean to say that exercise is more important than it is, I just meant that small amounts are extremely beneficial to those who eat paleo. I don't advocate lots of working out,(not necessary when eating the right food) but a moderate amount is always good for the mind and body. Like I personally lift weights maybe 3 times a week (whenever I feel like it) and do some squats using my own body weight. The only other exercise I get after that is from walking, sex and general movement-and that's perfectly natural and is all that's really needed to support your body. :)

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on April 11, 2013
at 01:39 PM

Yea, right, lots of our ancestors were extraordinarily robust and didn't even probably ever have to work out. It's only because we've been so far removed from nature that we have to take a step back to analyze what exactly it is that we're now missing.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on April 11, 2013
at 01:09 PM

Lol , you caught me thhq. I like sharing really cool stuff on PH and getting others' opinions on it sometimes. Me concluding that this article justifies a paleo diet with high quality protein definitely is Not supported by this article. High quality protein rich in leucine and other amino acids though, combined with the right exercise will improve protein synthesis, which will increase muscle mass which will help the body better deal with all cause stress(and increase life expectancy) http://www.medpagetoday.com/PrimaryCare/ExerciseFitness/36088 http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/86/5/1339.long

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on April 11, 2013
at 01:01 PM

Your welcome man,I figured those words were the result of an autocorrect of sorts (happens to me whenever I'm replying on my iPad). I think you're right that maintaining lean mass while minimizing fat mass is a signal that the body is healthy. That's probably why the general population tends to find relatively lean and fit individuals more attractive than say, a pear shaped Or generally out of shape individual. I think there is solid evidence though that shows it can be both a method of predicting health and improving health though. Take foreveryoung or Jack Lalanne as an example.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on April 11, 2013
at 12:54 PM

For me, that article helped explain why muscular insulin sensitivity (which would in theory directly lead to bigger muscle cells/more muscle mass and smaller fat cells) would be necessarily healthy for most 99.999% of people because it helps the body deal with stress, which I never really knew before. @thhq, definitely man, I'm glad you like it.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on April 11, 2013
at 12:47 PM

In fact, over the last 1 year I've put on at least 45 pounds 35 of that easily being muscle (it helped that I was skinny) 6'3" 212 now, working on 225. I've noticed dramatic mental changes, mainly increased calmness and increased ability to handle stress. More recently I've been turned on to Doug Mcguff, and while I think his once/week workout is blasphemy I think his explanation of how anaerobic glycotic cellular function (judged by lactate/h+/burning sensation when lifting) and how that relates to muscular insulin sensitivity is spot on.

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on April 11, 2013
at 12:45 PM

thanks stephen, was typing on the phone this morning!

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on April 11, 2013
at 12:42 PM

@foreveryoung, I've pretty much come full circle back to this (ultimate hack 1&2) the only thing better than taurine (among other aminos) would be a muscular body that has the ability to release appropriate taurine (and all amino acids for that matter) at appropriate times because it has high amino acid reserves (muscle mass). There is just overwhelming evidence that muscle mass plays a critical role in every aspect of health I've been able to find and i'm thinking it's because of muscular insulin sensitivity preventing glycation damage and improving the ability to handle stress.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on April 11, 2013
at 12:13 PM

An amazing lit survey and commentary. Thanks for digging it out.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on April 11, 2013
at 11:48 AM

Improving body comp via natural means is, as you already know, IMHO the ultimate hack and the best thing one can possibly do to improve quality of life. That pretty much universally means a nutrient dense (not necessarily paleo) diet and regular exercise. It means healthy blood sugar regulation, better hormonal regulation, better metabolic profile, better lipid profile, better everything. At least, it does in my experience going from sick and severely underweight to a normal BMI, but with a better overall body comp.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on April 11, 2013
at 11:41 AM

Improving body comp via natural means is, as you already know, IMHO the ultimate hack and the best thing one can possibly do to improve quality of life. That pretty much exclusively means a nutrient dense (not necessarily paleo) diet and regular exercise.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on April 11, 2013
at 11:40 AM

Improving body comp via natural means is, as you already know, IMHO the ultimate hack and the best thing one can possibly do to improve quality of life.

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4 Answers

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1
3a9d5dde5212ccd34b860bb6ed07bbef

on April 11, 2013
at 08:53 PM

here's an article that showing having muscle mass reduces blood sugar. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130407132914.htm

Well, gee, I mean who would have thought that our muscles sop up glucose like a dry sponge does water? This is one of the reasons I do not believe that people can even be muscular on a long term very low carb diet. glucose is muscle fuel.

3a9d5dde5212ccd34b860bb6ed07bbef

(1782)

on April 14, 2013
at 01:14 PM

No problem. I've thought long and hard about this, and have tried putting on muscle mass while eating a high calorie, very low carb diet. Didn't work at all. My personal experience shows me that starchy carbohydrates drive muscle growth to a large degree. Of course, I don't ignore protein and fat either...just saying that including more starch has been the best idea I was always weary of trying.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on April 12, 2013
at 03:38 PM

Cool man, thanks for the article!

1
C2fefd191418f9a7bd691077ab9b527a

(287)

on April 11, 2013
at 01:27 PM

To be honest, If you're eating well, the maintenance of lean mass is really just that, maintenance. The maintenance of health and wellbeing :) Health is our birthright. People make it seem like we're born sick and we treat ourselves with food and exercise to get better....The reality is we are born healthy and how we live can either maintain that health or depreciate it. Of course having lots of lean body mass is going to prevent you from illnesses such as cancer and heart disease, because these illnesses should not occur in your body to begin with! Naturally we are supposed to be reasonably lean (no matter what your build is, some may be more lean of course) and natural food and moderate exercise supports the growth and repair of your lean muscle...... providing yourself with nourishing food and exercise is the up keep of the body...the body will do everything else itself! you are right of course in saying that the role of lean mass is underappreciated and overlooked, but what can you expect in a society that bases everything on appearances? The main reason you hear of anyone weightlifting is to "tone up" etc and you will very seldom hear anyone say they are going to do weights or strength training for "health". Total Shame, really :/

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on April 11, 2013
at 01:39 PM

Yea, right, lots of our ancestors were extraordinarily robust and didn't even probably ever have to work out. It's only because we've been so far removed from nature that we have to take a step back to analyze what exactly it is that we're now missing.

C2fefd191418f9a7bd691077ab9b527a

(287)

on April 11, 2013
at 02:52 PM

I agree, stephen. I didn't mean to say that exercise is more important than it is, I just meant that small amounts are extremely beneficial to those who eat paleo. I don't advocate lots of working out,(not necessary when eating the right food) but a moderate amount is always good for the mind and body. Like I personally lift weights maybe 3 times a week (whenever I feel like it) and do some squats using my own body weight. The only other exercise I get after that is from walking, sex and general movement-and that's perfectly natural and is all that's really needed to support your body. :)

1
Medium avatar

(10611)

on April 11, 2013
at 12:20 PM

It's not clear to me from reading the article that paleo confers a special benefit. While burn patients are benefitted from higher protein, this is as treatment for traumatic inflammation, and it's not clear whether inflammation is reduced in healthy people eating high protein diets. Beyond protein, other macronutrients are barely discussed, so there is no wisdom on eating high fat, low carbs, safe carbs, etc etc that are as important to some paleo dieters as eating a lot of meat.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on April 11, 2013
at 01:09 PM

Lol , you caught me thhq. I like sharing really cool stuff on PH and getting others' opinions on it sometimes. Me concluding that this article justifies a paleo diet with high quality protein definitely is Not supported by this article. High quality protein rich in leucine and other amino acids though, combined with the right exercise will improve protein synthesis, which will increase muscle mass which will help the body better deal with all cause stress(and increase life expectancy) http://www.medpagetoday.com/PrimaryCare/ExerciseFitness/36088 http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/86/5/1339.long

1
3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on April 11, 2013
at 10:59 AM

Might it be that the ability to maintain lean mass while minimizing fat mass is a signal that the body is healthy? So rather than a mechanism for improving health it is a mechanism for detecting health?

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on April 12, 2013
at 03:36 PM

Jack Lalane was super skinny and severely underweight at age 14ish, he got inspired by some motivational speaker at a church and cleaned up his diet and started working out. He talks about how he used to have spots all on his face with extreme anxiety. That's pretty much why he then devoted his life to health, invented the Pull Down Machine, along with most the workout machinery you see in a gym and the Jumping "Jack" was coined by him.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on April 11, 2013
at 01:01 PM

Your welcome man,I figured those words were the result of an autocorrect of sorts (happens to me whenever I'm replying on my iPad). I think you're right that maintaining lean mass while minimizing fat mass is a signal that the body is healthy. That's probably why the general population tends to find relatively lean and fit individuals more attractive than say, a pear shaped Or generally out of shape individual. I think there is solid evidence though that shows it can be both a method of predicting health and improving health though. Take foreveryoung or Jack Lalanne as an example.

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on April 11, 2013
at 12:45 PM

thanks stephen, was typing on the phone this morning!

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on April 12, 2013
at 01:12 PM

I guess, I don't know enough about foreveryoung or Jack Lalanne -- were either of them unhealthy and improved their health via putting muscle on? Both seem like people who were always able to maintain a pretty muscular physique...

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on April 12, 2013
at 06:26 PM

Lots of underweight pimply kids at 14. Give me an example of someone in their mid 20s who used lifting and not diet to correct an illness. Just playin devils advocate.

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