HEALTH REPORT: UAF dietary study

Published: Apr. 3, 2018 at 6:43 PM AKDT
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UAF is performing a four week dietary study on people between 60 and 85 years old.

It's a blind test between two meal replacement shakes, so participants won't know which one they're taking until the trial outcome is known.

Here's more in this week's health report.

Katie Luper; Reporting>>: It's no doubt-aging takes a toll on the body's muscle mass.

One way to keep aging muscles 'young' is to exercise, but Dr. Coker at UAF is also looking to maintain a person's skeletal muscle with a meal replacement shake that has...

Trey Corker; Principal Investigator>>: "...a specific profile of essential amino acids or the building blocks of protein that are uniquely designed to build skeletal muscle. So instead of getting a grab bag or mystery compilation of amino acids, this meal replacement, we think will provide the individuals with precisely what the muscle is looking for."

Katie Luper; Reporting>>: Many replacements promise a quick fix, and Dr. Coker is skeptical of that.

So that's why they're doing this study.

Trey Corker; Principal Investigator>>: "We're also providing a competitive product in a double-blind fashion, in other words, we can't see which product they're getting and they can't see. And so at the end of the day, when we finish the actual experiment, we'll peel those labels off."

Katie Luper; Reporting>>: Participants should be 60-85 years old with a body mass index range of 26-40, which is considered overweight or obese.

After getting accepted, participants go through a series of tests including an MRI.

Carl Murphy; Manager of Molecular Imaging Facility>>: "They're a series of cognitive tests and functional tests that kind of simulate everyday life. So there's like a three hours at the beginning. There's like 15 minute check-ins for the middle weeks. And there's like about three hours at the end for the final visit."

Katie Luper; Reporting>>: They're asking participants to consume the product once a day. Popular flavors are...

Trey Corker; Principal Investigator>>: "Pineapple upside down cake, which is okay, but the other one is strawberry which I think is much better. It's a constant process of demonstrating clinical effectiveness and then also improving palatability so people will actually drink it."

Katie Luper; Reporting>>: They're ideal outcome is to have the participant's skeletal muscle mass and function maintain or improve while on a meal replacement. Reporting from UAF, I'm Katie Luper.