The effects of a novel oral nutritional supplement as compared to standard care on body composition, physical function and skeletal muscle mRNA expression in Dutch older adults with (or at risk of) undernutrition

Grootswagers, Pol; Smeets, Ellen; Oteng, Antwi-Boasiako; Groot, Lisette de


In a randomized controlled trial, 82 older adults (>65y) with (or at risk of) undernutrition (n=82) were randomly allocated to 12 weeks of supplementation with a novel supplement (586 kcal, 22 g protein of which 50% whey and 50% casein, 206 mg ursolic acid, 7 g free BCAAs, 11 µg vitamin D) or standard care (600 kcal, 24g protein of which 100% casein, 4 µg vitamin D). Body weight increased significantly in the 12 weeks, both in the intervention group (+1.6 ± 0.2 kg, p<.0001) and in the standard care group (+1.8 ± 0.2 kg, p<.0001). Gait speed during 4m and 400m tests improved over time in the intervention group, whereas the standard care showed no improvements (time*treatment effects 400m: p=0.038 and 4m: p=0.048). Gene sets related to mitochondrial functioning were strongly upregulated in the participants receiving the intervention product. We showed that a novel oral nutritional supplement improves gait speed in older adults via improvements in mitochondrial functioning.