Clinical studies between body composition and chronic conditions have been made, mainly focusing on adipose tissue content and metabolic derangement. Nevertheless, a new scope has been recently projected light upon the lean body mass composition and the repercussions it has on cardiometabolic conditions. The proper way to define lean body mass (LBM) is the total body weight minus the weight of your body’s fat mass. Indeed, it is vital to differentiate lean body mass from muscle mass since they are not the same. Lean body mass includes the weight of organs, skin, bones, body water, and muscle mass. On the other hand, muscle mass is often referred to as skeletal muscle, and it comprises the part of LBM that only takes into account the muscle tissue.
Applications of body composition and LBM
Body mass index (BMI) was the most common resource to measure metabolic risk in earlier research settings. However, it has been noticed that BMI could not differentiate between fat mass percentage and LBM. In children, BMI, LBM, and fat mass (FM) tend to be varied, mainly because of the interactions of different factors such as maturational stage, sex, age, and race have a major impact on body weight.
Age vs. LBM
However, in adults, LBM is reduced by age and lack of exercise, and the patient’s dietary patterns. Recently, low LBM in adults has been linked to a higher risk of cardiovascular events, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and mortality. Also, as seen in children and adolescents, the LBM loss and distribution play a major metabolic role. It has been reported that type 2 diabetes patients have reported a decline of lower extremity muscle mass, loss of muscle leading to weakness, mobility, and performance loss.
A study demonstrated that progressively higher HbA1c was associated with lower total, appendicular, and trunk percent lean mass. Besides, high C-reactive protein levels were linked to a decrement in the total lean body mass and all of the before-mentioned sites. Also, diabetes-related comorbidities such as heart disease, peripheral arterial disease, arthritis, neuropathy, hip fracture, amputation, cancer, and pulmonary disease significantly affected the decline of lean body mass. Lastly, this report showed that people with Hb1Ac of 6-6.4% had a notable decline in lean body mass.
Inflammation and LMB
The underlying effect of hyperglycemia and its repercussion of LBM, muscle strength, and performance point to a low-grade inflammatory state. Also, decreased physical activity and neuropathies contribute to the loss of lean body mass. Furthermore, insulin resistance can negatively affect muscle synthesis:
- Decreased muscle protein synthesis.
- Disinhibition of muscle protein breakdown.
In this particular study, the population with higher relative body fat was correlated to the loss of skeletal muscle mass and higher glucose levels.
Following this argument, a study performed in a male cohort study showed that those patients with diabetes or impaired fasting glucose (IFG) treated without insulin sensitizers had a marked loss of LBM and appendicular muscle mass. Furthermore, this study suggested that the treatment of diabetes and IFG with insulin sensitizer may be able to delay muscle mass loss, and therefore contribute to LBM.
Overall, body composition and lean body mass have a wide array of clinical applications. Nonetheless, these clinical contributions could not be possible without the right testing tool. However, most of the referenced data in this article were performed by D-XA, and despite this, bioelectrical impedance analysis is the most cost-efficient assessment.
In a body composition assessment, LBM can be easily affected by your water consumption and daily hydration. This is mainly because LBM is comprised in part of extracellular water and intracellular water. Also, the other two compounds are mineral bone and protein content. These are commonly called dry lean mass.
In conclusion, the application of body composition assessment and analysis and the underlying effects of age and hyperglycemia have on LBM content has brought new light into preventing muscle mass. In fact, these referenced studies had one additional objective: apply potential therapeutic strategies such as physical activity, high protein diets, and supplementation to prevent or reverse muscle mass loss.
There might not be enough comparable controlled trials using LMB as a metabolic risk factor as there are for fat mass percentage, BMI, or VAT. Nonetheless, the metabolic and inflammatory effects that are correlated to loss of LBM have many doable therapeutic approaches. – Ana Paola Rodríguez Arciniega. Master in Clinical Nutrition
Lifestyle factors such as exercise regime and dietary approaches can improve muscle mass, as well as insulin resistance. An exercise prescription recommended and tracked by a professional is extremely advised if you desire to improve your body composition.
Cook time: 35 minutes
NFLAM1 can chickpeas (garbanzo beans) rinsed and dried.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Sea salt, or Himalayan salt.
- 2 teaspoons of total spices- like chili powder, curry powder, garam masala, cumin,
smoked paprika, rosemary, thyme, nutmeg, cinnamon, or any commercial spices blend.
Heat the oven to 400°F.
In a mixing bowl, combine the chickpeas with olive oil and salt.
Place them evenly on a baking sheet.
Roast for 20 to 30 minutes, stirring the chickpeas every 10 minutes. They will be ready as soon as they turn golden and crunchy on the outside.
Place them back in the mixing bowl, add the spices, and stir them together.
Enjoy crispy and warm!
Kalyani, Rita R et al. “Hyperglycemia is associated with relatively lower lean body mass in older adults.” The journal of nutrition, health & aging vol. 18,8 (2014): 737-43. doi:10.1007/s12603-014-0445-0
Lee, Christine G., et al. “Insulin sensitizers may attenuate lean mass loss in older men with diabetes.” Diabetes care 34.11 (2011): 2381-2386.
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Licensed in Texas & New Mexico