A new study found that lean muscle mass reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s disease
An independent sample included 21,982 people with Alzheimer’s disease and 41,944 without it. In a replication sample to confirm the results, 7,329 patients with Alzheimer’s disease and 252,879 people without it participated.
After reviewing the data, the researchers concluded that lean mass was positively associated with better cognitive function and a lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
These results suggest that lean muscle mass may be a protective factor against cognitive decline. However, further research is needed to elucidate the underlying cause of this association.
While previous research is assocd obesity with an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease1, this finding stands out as another piece of the puzzle beyond clinical obesity. In the conclusion of the study, the researchers present several ideas as to why muscle mass may have a protective effect against Alzheimer’s disease: First, having more muscle may help improve certain risk factors for dementia, such as insulin resistance and blood pressure. Some myokines (proteins released in response to muscle contraction) may also have a neuroprotective effect2– they note.
It is important to remember that it is impossible to assess pure muscle mass with the naked eye – two people can look and weigh the same, but have completely different indicators of lean muscle mass. It’s all about what’s inside.
And the good news is that while you may be born with a certain amount of muscle mass, it’s never too late to put on more with a muscle-focused diet, lifestyle, and exercise routine.