According to research, heavy alcohol consumption could increase muscle loss and frailty risk later in life. The study shows with statistical modeling that individuals with the lowest muscle volume were consuming 10 daily units of alcohol or more, or approximately 1 bottle of wine.
The researchers scaled for body size since bigger individuals have more muscle mass. Other factors were also taken into consideration which include physical activity and protein consumption.
The results, mostly in individuals in their 50s and 60s, indicate one more reason for reducing alcohol consumption. Losing muscle as we grow older results in weakness and frailty issues later in life.
Alcohol consumption is a significant modifiable risk factor for a large number of conditions, so the researchers wanted to determine more about the association between alcohol consumption and muscle health as we grow older.
The researchers analyzed data from the UK Biobank, a database of health and lifestyle information from 500,000 individuals. Data were examined from almost 200,000 individuals between the ages of 37 and 73.
They examined how much alcohol participants were consuming and compared it with the muscle mass they had, according to the body size of the participants.
Other things were also taken into consideration such as the amount of protein consumed, physical activity levels, and other factors that might make a difference in the amount of muscle they may have.
The majority of the individuals were in their 50s and 60s. It was revealed that individuals who consumed a large amount of alcohol had a reduced amount of skeletal muscle in comparison to individuals consuming less, after considering body size and other factors.
It became an issue when individuals were consuming 10 or more daily units, which is equal to approximately 1 bottle of wine or 4 or 5 pints.
Muscle mass and alcohol consumption were measured cross-sectionally in individuals simultaneously, so a causal link can not be certain. This study indicates that alcohol could have a detrimental impact on muscle mass at higher consumption levels.
Losing muscle as we grow older results in weakness and frailty issues, so this indicates another reason for avoiding the consumption of large quantities of alcohol regularly in middle age.
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