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HRT improves muscle function in postmenopausal women.

Washington, May.1 ( ANI ): Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) helps strengthen muscle function considerably - down to the muscle fibre level - in postmenopausal women.

Previous studies, monitoring walking speed and jumping height, suggested that HRT reduces the impacts of age-related decline in muscle mass and strength.

But the new study observed pairs of postmenopausal identical twins - of whom only one of each pair was receiving HRT - in order to rule out genetic differences, and then performed close examination of muscle biopsies taken from them.

Dr Lars Larsson, from Uppsala University Hospital Sweden, who led the study, said that the team found that even though individual muscle fibres did not change in size, the muscles of HRT users showed greater strength by generating a higher maximum force compared to non-HRT users.

He said that it is thought that using HRT, at least in part, reduces modifications of muscle contractile proteins that are linked to ageing.

Larsson asserted that HRT is also associated with a more efficient organisation of myonuclei - essential components for muscle fibre function.

He said that in HRT users, the different myonuclei arrangement optimises cellular level protein transport that leads to improved muscle function.

Larson said that fall and fall-related injuries were common among elderly individuals, with significant socioeconomic consequences for individuals and society, and women are affected more than men due to the decrease in female sex hormone production.

He added that future studies are focusing on the molecular mechanisms underlying the ageing-related changes in skeletal muscle and the specific effects of HRT on the structure and function of the dominant protein in skeletal muscle, called myosin that generates force and movement.

The study has been published in The Journal of Physiology. ( ANI )

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Publication:Asian News International
Date:May 1, 2013
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