Research study focusing on healthy aging and improving muscle health.


Next Steps

  1. Complete the study questionnaire
  2. Understand if you’re eligible to participate
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Research Center: Ivor Wynne Centre at McMaster University
Location: Ivor Wynne Centre, Stearn Drive, Hamilton, Ontario, L8S 4E8
Lead Researcher: Tom Janssen
IRB: This study has been reviewed and approved by the Hamilton Integrated Research Ethics Board (HiREB)

About the Study

Our bodies tend to get weaker as we age, accumulate body fat, and become less resilient to periods of inactivity and infection (the current COVID-19 pandemic is such a scenario). Lifestyle interventions such as physical activity and dietary habits are the most effective non-pharmacological strategies to combat mobility limitations and diabetes. We think resistance training (i.e., strengthening exercise), in particular lower-load resistance training (i.e., lifting a lighter weight), could be an effective strategy to counter the decline in muscle mass and strength, as it targets the underlying mechanisms that lead to the negative health effects caused by aging and obesity. We will determine whether older overweight individuals will improve their blood glucose control, build more muscle, and subsequently reduce their risk of developing frailty, disability, and losing their independence after a 12- week light weight training protocol.

In summary, the main question that we want to answer with this study is: “Does lifting light weights in older men and women while consuming dairy protein, promote glycemic response, muscle gains and improve the ability to get around?”

Why Participate?

  • Participants will receive a free consultation with a nutritionist.
  • Participants will receive 12 weeks of free training at a training facility called the Physical Activity Center of Excellence (PACE).
  • Participants will be compensated for participating in this study. Compensation will only be provided to eligible participants who complete the study.
  • Participants may experience improvements in overall health and body composition.
  • Participants will be contributing valuable information that may benefit those with weight in the future.
  • Participants will be helping to advance medical research.

Your Rights

  • If you decide to participate in the study and later feel that you no longer wish to be part of it, you can withdraw at any time.
  • Any information that you provide will be kept strictly confidential, except as required by law.
  • Qualified health professionals will monitor your health as it relates to the study.

Who Can Participate?

  • Men and women aged between 60 and 85 who are generally healthy
  • Must be able to attend study visits at the research site over approximately 14 weeks (without intererference of vacations etc.)
  • Must be able to perform daily activities with minimal to no assistance needed
  • Must not be engaged in an exercise training program or diet (no weight training 3 or more times a week.)
  • Must not currently be taking any protein or weight loss supplements or medications known to affect protein metabolism (i.e., glucocorticoids)
  • Must not smoke tobacco
  • Must not follow a vegan or vegetarian diet
  • Must not use assistive walking devices (e.g., cane or walker)
  • Must not have a history of cancer within the last 5 years (except basal cell carcinoma, non-squamous skin carcinoma, prostate cancer, or carcinoma in situ)
  • Must not have experienced extreme weight loss or muscle wasting caused by a medical condition (e.g., relating to cancer, tuberculosis, human immunodeficiency virus infection and acquired immune deficiency syndrome, or any genetic muscle diseases or disorders)
  • Must not have hypersensitivity or known allergy to any medications
  • Must not currently be using Ozempic

More Study Details

The study team will explain the research in its entirety but some details are:

  • Participants will be required to fast for most of the study visits (6 visits). This means that you cannot consume any food after 10 p.m. the night before your visit. Drinking water and taking any medication are allowed. Participants will be asked to ingest heavy water (D2O). Heavy water, or labeled water, is an isotope of water and is already present in small amounts in the water we drink daily. It poses no health risk. Once you stop drinking this water, your body water will return to its normal concentration in 20-30 days.
  • Participants will be asked to provide blood samples, urine samples, and saliva samples, as well as undergo the following tests:
    • The oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) to measure insulin and glucose after ingesting a sugary drink to asses insluin response which gives us an indication of the development of diabetes.
    • Strength will be measured through a five-repetition maximum (5RM). The 5RM results will be used to determine the training load of the training protocol.
    • An ultrasound on the cross-sectional area (CSA) of the major upper leg muscle.
    • A Dual Energy X-Ray Absorptiometry (DXA) scan will determine your body composition. This procedure uses a small amount of radiation to determine how much fat, bone, and muscle mass you have in your body.
    • A bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA). BIA is also used to assess body composition and involves standing barefoot on an InBody device for 1-3 minutes.
    • Participants will undergo 4 muscle biopsies performed by trained personnel. Our laboratory has a history of performing over 6,000 biopsies on young and elderly adults. This procedure involves the removal of a small piece of muscle tissue from the upper leg.
  • Participants will be asked to complete questionnaires. These will consist of questions about your health, physical activity, food intake, and perceived quality of life.

About the Research Center:

McMaster University
McMaster University is a privately endowed university in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. It was founded in 1887 through a gift from Sen. William McMaster. It offers undergraduate and graduate degree programs in the sciences, humanities, social sciences, business, engineering, and other fields.

Please note:
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the researchers would like to assure the participants that ensuring their and the study staff’s safety is of utmost importance.


What’s Next?

  1. Click the link to enter your contact details and take the study questionnaire.
  2. If eligible, a member of the research team will contact you to discuss the study and answer any questions you may have.
Click Here to Check Your Eligibility for this Study

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