Muscle Regeneration

Muscle atrophy occurs when your muscles waste away. It can happen due to lack of activity. If you could pardon my being impolite; living a life filled with lots of idle moments. Sometimes, it can also occur due to an injury or illness. A stroke, motor neuropathy, arthritis and some diseases that afflict the brain can also cause atrophy of the muscles. Sarcopenia is the gradual loss of muscle as you age. Whatever the cause, as you age, if you suffer from muscle degradation, the outcome can leave you feeling helpless. Skeletal muscles comprise forty to fifty percent of our body mass and are essential to structural support, locomotion and even breathing. Take away the muscles, and you take away strength, mobility and flexibility.

Researchers have therefore been seeking ways to regenerate lost muscles. The process of tissue generation in itself is fascinating. It involves proliferation; the splitting of muscle to create more and differentiation; the formation of new muscle. Flavery and Burris at the Saint Louis University found a nuclear receptor called REV-ERB that could assist in muscle regeneration. REV-ERB has been known to lower LDL cholesterol and also in regulating your internal clock. REV-ERB appeared to play a role in different stages of muscle development. They, therefore, sought to explore ways to trigger growth by controlling the expression of the receptor. Historically, the only solutions possible were the use of steroids which could have potentially harmful side effects. This new approach, successfully tested on animals seems to be triggering a natural responses instead.

If you are currently healthy, there is no time like now to preserve the muscles you have. Exercise, diet and sleep all affect your muscle development and preservation. Interestingly, one research study found that a calorie deficit diet in rats seemed to preserve muscle better as the rats aged, provided the food was complete nutritionally speaking.


Ritesh is a born again health enthusiast and holds a Certificate in Physiology from Harvard Medical School and a Certificate in Nutrition from Tufts University.