Medical News Today August 23, 2010
UTMB researchers believe they’ve found a way to use widely available blood pressure drugs to fight the muscular weakness that normally accompanies aging. The discovery draws on research linking the loss of muscle mass with age-related changes in the behavior of the hair-thin blood vessels, or capillaries, which supply muscles with the amino acids they need for growth. “When a young person eats food, insulin secretion causes the blood vessels in the muscle to dilate, so a lot of blood goes into the muscle and a lot of amino acids are available to build muscle proteins,” said UTMB professor Elena Volpi, senior author of a paper on the work titled “Pharmacological vasodilation improves insulin-stimulated muscle protein anabolism but not glucose utilization in older adults,” now available in the online section of the journal Diabetes. The article also appears in ScienceDaily.