Nutrition and Aging: Changes in the Regulation of Energy Metabolism With Aging, 2006
Changes in energy regulation occur during normal aging and contribute to the common phenomenon of weight and fat losses late in life. This review synthesizes data on aging-related changes in energy intake and energy expenditure and on the regulation of energy intake and expenditure. The ability of older adults to accurately regulate energy intake is impaired, with a number of possible explanations including delayed rate of absorption of macronutrients secondary to reductions in taste and smell acuity and numerous hormonal and metabolic mediators of energy regulation that change with aging. There are also changes in patterns of dietary intake and a reduction in the variety of foods consumed in old age that are thought to further reduce energy intake. Additionally, all components of energy expenditure decrease with aging, in particular energy expenditure for physical activity and basal metabolic rate, and the ability of energy expenditure to increase or decrease to attenuate energy imbalance during overeating or undereating also decreases. Combined, these changes result in an increased susceptibility to energy imbalance (both positive and negative) in old age that is associated with deteriorations in health. Practical interventions for prevention of weight and fat fluctuations in old age are anticipated here based on emerging knowledge of the role of such factors as dietary variety, taste, and palatability in late-life energy regulation.
Glycine metabolism in skeletal muscle: implications for metabolic homeostasis, 2017
Purpose of review: The review summarizes the recent literature on the role of glycine in skeletal muscle during times of stress.
Recent findings: Supplemental glycine protects muscle mass and function under pathological conditions. In addition, mitochondrial dysfunction in skeletal muscle leads to increased cellular serine and glycine production and activation of NADPH-generating pathways and glutathione metabolism. These studies highlight how glycine availability modulates cellular homeostasis and redox status.
Summary: Recent studies demonstrate that supplemental glycine effectively protects muscles in a variety of wasting models, including cancer cachexia, sepsis, and reduced caloric intake. The underlying mechanisms responsible for the effects of glycine remain unclear but likely involve receptor-mediated responses and modulation of intracellular metabolism. Future research to understand these mechanisms will provide insight into glycine's therapeutic potential. Our view is that glycine holds considerable promise for improving health by protecting muscles during different wasting conditions.