Effects of exercise and tea catechins on muscle mass, strength and walking ability in community-dwelling elderly Japanese sarcopenic women: a randomized controlled trial

Geriatr Gerontol Int. 2013 Apr;13(2):458-65. doi: 10.1111/j.1447-0594.2012.00923.x. Epub 2012 Aug 31.


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.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Body Composition / physiology
  • Catechin / therapeutic use*
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Electric Impedance
  • Exercise*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Gait / physiology
  • Hand Strength / physiology
  • Health Education
  • Humans
  • Independent Living
  • Lower Extremity / physiology
  • Muscle Strength / drug effects
  • Muscle Strength / physiology*
  • Muscle Stretching Exercises
  • Muscle, Skeletal / drug effects
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology*
  • Postural Balance / physiology
  • Resistance Training
  • Sarcopenia / drug therapy
  • Sarcopenia / therapy*
  • Tea*
  • Walking / physiology*


  • Tea
  • Catechin