Los Angeles, CA –
New research released by UCLA suggests thatthe more muscle older Americans develop, the longer their lifespan couldbe. These findings add to a growingamount of evidence that overall body composition is a better predictor ofoverall health and all-cause mortality.
Led by assistant professor Preethi Srikanthanof the endocrinology department of the David Geffen School of Medicine, thestudy found that building muscle mass is an important factor in decreasingoverall metabolic risk. The researchanalyzed data collected from a group of over 3,000 individuals between 1988 and1994. After gathering the base data,they looked at how many of those individuals had passed on from natural causesin 2004.
Overall, the researchers found that all-causemortality was significantly lower in those with more muscle mass and less bodyfat. In other words, the greater amountof muscle mass on the body, the lower risk of death. Realizing this can offer trainers and fitnessprofessionals insight into what makes a person healthy overall.
“Rather than worrying about weight or bodymass index,” advised Arun Karlamangla of the geriatrics division of the GeffenSchool of Medicine, “we should be trying to maximize and maintain muscle mass.”
Development of muscle mass also has otherbenefits outside of decreased mortality. More lean muscle mass on the body means less room for fat todevelop. It also means the body isstronger and more supported, which can lead to a reduced risk of injury, andmore calories are burned by lean muscle mass which leads to easier control ofweight as a person ages.
This study is an important step inhighlighting the importance of overall fitness and health rather than a setnumber established by BMI which doesn’t always factor in muscle mass vs.overall body weight composition.
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