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Media opportunity: Researchers reveal the critical role metabolism plays in reducing the risk of frailty in older adults and how the two are closely linked

Posted by Communications and Marketing on April 12, 2024 in News

A new study by Dalhousie University researchers suggests that frailty in older adults may increase the risk of developing metabolic diseases, but that interventions that modify metabolism can reduce the degree of frailty even late in life.

Dr. Susan Howlett, who helped develop a frailty index used widely in animal research, reviewed scientific literature on frailty and metabolism, finding a clear link between the two -- that is, poor metabolic health can accelerate the development of frailty while frailty can predispose people to metabolic disease.

Dr. Howlett, a professor in Dal's Department of Pharmacology, also reviewed strategies aimed at improving metabolism, which is the process involved in the storage and expenditure of energy. Evidence shows, for example, that older people at risk of frailty reduced that risk when taking protein and other amino acid supplements, combined with exercise. That was particularly true for women, who tend to be more frail than men.

Dr. Howlett is available to discuss these important findings, published today in the journal Cell Metabolism, and how maintaining a youthful metabolism into older age may be protective against frailty.


Media contact:

Alison Auld
Senior Research Reporter
Communications, Marketing and Creative Services
Dalhousie University 
Cell: 1-902-220-0491 


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