At this year’s SupplySide West, Lonza (Basel, Switzerland) launched MuscleGuard, a vegan formulation comprised of its branded Carnipure L-carnitine, creatine, and leucine with vitamin D. Positioned for sports nutrition, the synergistic blend has been shown in clinical research to significantly increase muscle strength and mass in older subjects, without exercise.
In a study published in Nutrition & Metabolism1, 42 healthy adults between the ages of 55 and 70 divided into three arms were randomly assigned to receive either a combination of L-carnitine (1500 mg), L-leucine (2000 mg), creatine (3000 mg), and vitamin D3 (10 μg), L-carnitine alone (1500 mg), or placebo for eight weeks. Results showed that the combination group, compared to placebo, had significantly higher primary composite outcome scores, which assessed body mass, functional muscle strength, and a 6-minute walk test. Expressed as a percentage, this amounted to a 63.5% increase, while L-carnitine alone did not create a significant change compared to placebo.
Subjects taking the combination product also experienced a significant increase of 1 kg in total lean muscle mass compared to baseline, which was significantly different compared to placebo. The combination group also saw a significant increase in leg muscle mass that translated into a significant 1 kg increase leg muscle strength. Based on muscle biopsies, the researchers also determined that the combination group experienced a significant increase from baseline of mTOR protein levels. The mTOR pathway is a major mechanism for protein synthesis that is typically delayed in the elderly.
“We did a data gap analysis looking at creatine and leucine at these doses, which are relatively low, and they don’t show any effect, under similar conditions to the MuscleGuard formulation — without exercise,” explained Aouatef Bellamine, PhD, senior scientific manager, Lonza Consumer Health & Nutrition to Nutritional Outlook. “We have unpublished research suggesting synergy between these individual ingredients. These data will be communicated in due time.”
While the ingredient is positioned for sports nutrition, for pre- and post-exercise applications, the results of the study also demonstrate that the synergistic combination of ingredients found in MuscleGuard may also support healthy aging. Muscle degeneration is common among older adults, and an increase in lean muscle mass without exercise is a profound benefit for a vulnerable population. The addition of exercise is expected to potentiate these effects and will be further evaluated by Lonza.
1. Evan M et al. “Efficacy of a novel formulation of L-Carnitine, creatine, and leucine on lean body mass and functional muscle strength in healthy older adults: a randomized, double-blind placebo-controlled study.” Nutrition & Metabolism, vol. 14 (2017): 7