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“Youth hormone” could regenerate muscles helping old age dependency

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French researchers have recently identified a natural hormone containing muscle regeneration properties.  Considered a very important discovery, this hormone could help problems of dependency among older people.

A natural hormone capable of regenerating muscles could be a hit with athletes and other body-building enthusiasts.  However according to researchers from INSERM, Paul Sabatier University and the Gérontopôle University Hospital in Toulouse, this hormone could instead be helpful for people who become dependent in old age due to the degenerative loss of muscles.

In their study published in Nature Medicine journal in July 2018, scientists explain how they tested the hormone apelin on old mice.  Apelin is a natural hormone – or peptide – discovered in 1998 by Japanese researchers and is known for having anti-diabetes effects. The study showed that after being given this hormone, the mice’s muscle capacity significantly improved as muscle fibres regenerated.
Professor Philippe Valet, one of the co-authors of the study explained, “These studies make it possible to consider Apelin both as a tool for the early diagnosis of Sarcopenia and as a promising treatment to fight against age-related function loss. Apelin is able to improve the energy use of the cell. It makes the engine run better.”

Sarcopenia (or geriatric syndrome) is the scientific name given to the degenerative loss of muscle mass. As it gets worse, muscular strength and physical performance deteriorates, leading to an almost inevitable stage of physical dependency for older people.

Researchers have organised a clinical trial in 2019 in which elderly people will be tested with apelin. At the same time, medicine manufacturers will take note of their findings to improve the future of dietary supplements able to increase apelin production.

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