Aim: To investigate the effects of exercise and/or tea catechin supplementation on muscle mass, strength and walking ability in elderly Japanese women with sarcopenia.
Methods: A total of 128 women aged over 75 years were defined as sarcopenic and randomly assigned into four groups: exercise and tea catechin supplementation (n = 32), exercise (n = 32), tea catechin supplementation (n = 32) or health education (n = 32). The exercise group attended a 60-min comprehensive training program twice a week and the tea catechin supplementation group ingested 350 mL of a tea beverage fortified with catechin daily for 3 months. Body composition was determined by bioelectrical impedance analysis. Interview data and functional fitness measurements, such as muscle strength, balance and walking ability, were collected at baseline and after the 3-month intervention.
Results: There were significant group × time interactions observed in timed up & go (P < 0.001), usual walking speed (P = 0.007) and maximum walking speed (P < 0.001). The exercise + catechin group showed a significant effect (odds ratio 3.61, 95% confidence interval 1.05-13.66) for changes in the combined variables of leg muscle mass and usual walking speed compared with the health education group.
Conclusions: The combination of exercise and tea catechin supplementation had a beneficial effect on physical function measured by walking ability and muscle mass.
© 2012 Japan Geriatrics Society.