26 March 2010
International nutrition research packs muscle
The project will look at the best balance between exercise and nutrition. Image © istockphoto.
Scientists from RMIT University are part of an international research project investigating connections between nutrition and exercise.
They join colleagues from McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada; the Australian Institute of Sport, Canberra; and the Nestlé Research Center, Lausanne, Switzerland.
The investigation will look at whether the combined effect of nutrition and exercise can positively impact the quality and quantity of muscle mass, in both young and ageing adults.
The collaboration is supported by a linkage grant from the Australian Research Council (ARC).
Professor John Hawley, Head of the Exercise Metabolism Group in RMIT’s School of Medical Sciences, said the project would involve several comprehensive clinical trials.
"The aim is to assess optimal protein and exercise regimes for maintaining skeletal muscle in healthy adults who are losing weight, and also for preventing the accentuated muscle loss that typically occurs during ageing.
"Maintaining an optimal body composition (including adequate muscle mass) throughout the lifespan can greatly enhance general physical performance and the overall quality of life."
Dr Trent Stellingwerff, a Nestlé Research scientist involved in the project, said the collaboration brought together four robust research institutions from around the world.
Each institution brought individual competencies and perspectives - without which the full scope of the research would be impossible.
"The cutting-edge research methodologies that will be used in these human clinical trials can only be done in select places in the world," Dr Stellingwerff said.
"And with each partner bringing different expertise to the collaboration, this advantage allowed us not only to earn the ARC grant, but also to anticipate collecting novel data from these collaborative studies."