Getting older often involves increasing muscle weakness, loss of muscle mass and fatigue. At the same time, we also see a reduction in the amount of carnitine in the muscles. Carnitine plays an important role in the transport of fatty acids to the mitochondria, the energy factories of the cell. Our body can produce carnitine itself, but we also obtain carnitine through our diet, especially via meat and dairy.
Carnitite and the aging of muscles
Why elderly people have a lower carnitine status and how aging of muscles takes place is still unknown. This is being investigated in the Fitaal study that researchers from the Human and Animal Physiology group play an important role in.
Vital or vulnerable
A group of over-75s in Leeuwarden has been studied to gain insight into the differences between vital and vulnerable elderly people. Among other things the carnitine level in the muscle was determined via a biopsy. In addition, measurements were taken in young adults who serve as the healthy reference.
The study gives us more insight into the aging process and helps to find biomarkers to detect at an early stage when older people become more vulnerable.