Effects of an omnivorous diet compared with a lactoovovegetarian diet on resistance-training-induced changes in body composition and skeletal muscle in older men

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URLhttps://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article/70/6/1032/4729141

The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition

Publication Date: 12/1999

Summary: Very limited data suggest that meat consumption by older people may promote skeletal muscle hypertrophy in response to resistance training (RT). The objective of this study was to assess whether the consumption of an omnivorous (meat-containing) diet would influence RT-induced changes in whole-body composition and skeletal muscle size in older men compared with a lactoovovegetarian (LOV) (meat-free) diet. Nineteen men aged 51–69 y participated in the study. During a 12-wk period of RT, 9 men consumed their habitual omnivorous diets, which provided ≈50% of total dietary protein from meat sources (beef, poultry, pork, and fish) (mixed-diet group). Another 10 men were counseled to self-select an LOV diet (LOV-diet group). Maximal strength of the upper- and lower-body muscle groups that were exercised during RT increased by 10–38% (P < 0.001), independent of diet. The RT-induced changes in whole-body composition and skeletal muscle size differed significantly between the mixed- and LOV-diet groups (time-by-group interactions, P < 0.05). With RT, whole-body density, fat-free mass, and whole-body muscle mass increased in the mixed diet group but decreased in the LOV- diet group. Type II muscle fiber area of the vastus lateralis muscle increased with RT for all men combined (P < 0.01), and the increase tended to be greater in the mixed-diet group (16.2 ± 4.4 %) than in the LOV diet group (7.3 ± 5.1%). Type I fiber area was unchanged with RT in both diet groups. Consumption of a meat-containing diet contributed to greater gains in fat-free mass and skeletal muscle mass with RT in older men than did an LOV diet.

Key Takeaways

Resistance training increased strength in both meat containing and lactoovovegetarian diets of men aged 51-69, but the exclusion of meat from the diet resulted in a decrease in lean mass compared to the increase in lean muscle mass of the meat containing diet. Fast-twitch (type II) muscle fiber area also increased in both groups, however meat in the diet led to a greater increase.

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