Muscle Size For Research

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In a previous post we have outlined what Muscle Size is and why it is important in the fields of fitness and health care. Muscle Size is also important in the field of research.

Why is Muscle Size Important in Research?

Muscle Size is a component of MuscleHealth. Since little research has been conducted on this aspect of muscle as a relevant endpoint 1, it is a topic of interest to investigators. The investigation of Muscle Size can produce a variety of “relevant end points” depending on the population.

In Frail populations, it allows the monitoring and tracking of…

  • Muscle mass levels in chronic disease conditions and/or ICU patients
  • Clinical rehab impact on muscle mass levels
  • Nutritional impact on muscle mass levels
  • Association of muscle mass levels with functional and clinical outcomes

NOTE: Research topics related to these outcomes would provide information essential to the health – and even the survival – of these populations, including the impact and progression of sarcopenia

In Free living populations, it allows the monitoring and determination of…

  • The age-related rate of muscle mass loss
  • The impact of exercise/strengthening interventions on muscle mass

NOTE: Research topics related to these outcomes would provide information clarifying the progress of Sarcopenia (the loss of muscle mass with aging), which has been described as “the single most frequent cause of late life disability”. Delaying or even transiently reversing the progress of sarcopenia, has been shown to improve physical function and quality of life 2.

In Persons Active in Sports and Exercise, it allows the monitoring and determination of…

  • The impact of strength building programs on muscle size
  • Comparison of differing strength training protocols on muscle size
  • The symmetry of muscle thickness in contralateral limbs
  • Potential game-related injury risk

NOTE: Research topics related to these outcomes would provide information essential for developing effective rehab and/or training-related approaches to fitness and nutrition.


  1. Robert R Wolfe, R., The underappreciated role of muscle in health and disease. Am J Clin Nutr 84: 475–82, 1006
  2. Malafarina V, et al., Sarcopenia in the elderly: Diagnosis, physiopathology and treatment. Maturitas 71: 109–114, 2012.

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