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Saturated, Unsaturated

A man conditioning

Studying skeletal muscle hypertrophy and atrophy and its distinct signaling pathways is an important ongoing process not only for development but for offsetting disease and aging. Maintaining muscle mass and effective muscle functioning is essential to preserve a healthy and active lifespan and maintain physical proficiency.

Distinct signaling pathways are involved in controlling skeletal muscle hypertrophy and atrophy. A network of interconnected signals serves to coordinate muscle protein synthesis and proteolysis. Muscle mass can be increased by an expansion in the size of pre‐existing myofibrils, or through the process of hyperplasia, which involves an increase in the number of cells or fibres – type one, type two A  and type two B.

Evidence shows that saturated and unsaturated fatty acids may act to differentially regulate skeletal muscle mass and function. Being overweight or even short‐term high fat feeding has been shown to promote muscle atrophy reducing muscle mass and muscle fibre size. By the same token the anti‐inflammatory actions of unsaturated fatty acids tend to have beneficial responses acting to prevent muscle wasting and/or atrophy.

So, what’s this mean to the athlete? This does not change protein considerations and concerns to promote skeletal muscle hypertrophy, Modifications of dietary fat consumption and selecting the appropriate dietary lipid is an effective and important strategy often overlooked to help maximize training results. It is also noteworthy for the coach and athlete to understand how being overweight as an athlete and/or eating improperly affects potential muscular growth and performance.

Diet Exercise and Performance



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