Improvement in Skeletal Muscle Strength and Plasma Levels of Follistatin and Myostatin Induced by an 8-Week Resistance Training and Epicatechin Supplementation in Sarcopenic Older Adults

J Aging Phys Act. 2019 Jun 1;27(3):384-391. doi: 10.1123/japa.2017-0389. Epub 2019 Feb 27.


To investigate the effects of resistance training and epicatechin supplementation on muscle strength, follistatin, and myostatin in older adults with sarcopenia, a total of 62 males with sarcopenia (68.63 ± 2.86 years) underwent a supervised 8-week randomized controlled trial. Participants were divided into resistance training (RT), epicatechin (EP), resistance training+epicatechin (RT+EP), and placebo (PL) in a double-blind method. A pretest and posttest measurement was conducted. One-way analysis of variance was used to analyze between-group differences. The significantly greatest increase was observed in follistatin, follistatin/myostatin ratio, leg press, and chest press in RT+EP comparing RT, EP, and PL groups, whereas myostatin decreased significantly only in RT+EP and RT groups. However, appendicular muscle mass index and timed up and go test were enhanced significantly in all experimental groups than the PL group (p ≤ .05). Consequently, by comparing the results between three experimental groups, the greatest improvement was detected in the RT+EP group. Therefore, using two interventions simultaneously seems to have a better impact on improving muscle growth factors and preventing the progression of sarcopenia.

Keywords: TGF-β; aging; muscle growth factors.

Publication types

  • Pragmatic Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Catechin / administration & dosage*
  • Catechin / pharmacology
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Female
  • Follistatin / blood*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Muscle Strength / physiology
  • Muscle, Skeletal / drug effects*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology
  • Myostatin / blood*
  • Resistance Training / methods*
  • Sarcopenia / blood
  • Sarcopenia / prevention & control*
  • TGF-beta Superfamily Proteins / blood
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Biomarkers
  • Follistatin
  • Myostatin
  • TGF-beta Superfamily Proteins
  • Catechin