About this Research Topic
The musculoskeletal system is exquisitely structured to absorb, distribute, and elicit forces that keep us alive and allow us to interact with our environment. From initiating intracellular signals to influencing tissue morphology— nutrition sustains, modifies and augments the ability of the musculoskeletal system to serve these functions. This Research Topic aims to provide a collection of reviews on the impact of nutrition on skeletal muscle in health and disease for a broad range of health professionals.
As a reservoir of amino acids, skeletal muscle is acutely responsive to dietary protein. From preserving lean mass in hypocaloric states, to accentuating the muscle hypertrophy achieved with resistance exercise, dietary protein influences skeletal muscle plasticity. This influence is mediated primarily by the well-established stimulation of muscle protein synthesis by amino acids. In addition to providing an update on established dietary effects on muscle plasticity, this Research Topic will explore potential effects that are less-well characterized: the influence of nutrition on skeletal muscle support structures (connective tissues) and repair systems (muscle stem cells).
Beyond established and potential influences of nutrition on skeletal muscle plasticity, recent work in the field is helping define the efficacy of nutritional interventions on the skeletal muscle mass and health in clinical populations. Aging, disuse and disease – and their combination – represent three uphill battles for clinical nutrition researchers. Nevertheless incremental progress is being made in understanding the etiology of these challenges and proposing countermeasures deemed effective by defining benefits and potential risks: Do the lean mass-preserving benefits of fish oils, on the backdrop of shifting perception away from increased bleeding risk, warrant an increase in their prescription in immobilized individuals? Indeed, as evidence bases for nutrition interventions build, best practices to use nutrition to aid individuals facing muscle disuse, aging and disease can be defined; this Research Topic seeks to facilitate discussion toward this end.
Keywords: Skeletal Muscle, Stem Cells, Dietary Protein, Musculoskeletal System
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