Let’s face it, getting old sucks! Hell I’m only 27 and sometimes I feel old. You get injured more easily, have less energy, and your metabolism slows down. Furthermore, metabolically speaking you become less insulin sensitive, less able to tolerate carbohydrates, and you also become less sensitive to amino acids. Several studies have demonstrated that elderly people require a greater amount of amino acids to maximize the anabolic response to a meal as compared to young people (1,2).
There seems to be some good news however! A recent study by Marzani et al. demonstrated that the defective anabolic response to a meal could be restored in elderly people taking an antioxidant mixture containing rutin, vitamin E, vitamin A, zinc, and selenium (3). Not only is this a big deal for helping to maintain muscle and maximize anabolism, but anti-oxidants have also been shown to increase insulin sensitivity (4). Therefore, anti-oxidants may have multi-faceted uses in preventing metabolic dysfunction associated with aging.