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We examined the effects of progressive resistance training (PRT) and supplementation with calcium-vitamin D3 fortified milk on markers of systemic inflammation, and the relationship between inflammation and changes in muscle mass, size and strength. Healthy men aged 50–79 years (n = 180) participated in this 18-month randomized controlled trial that comprised a factorial 2 × 2 design. Participants were randomized to (1) PRT + fortified milk supplement, (2) PRT, (3) fortified milk supplement, or (4) a control group. Participants assigned to PRT trained 3 days per week, while those in the supplement groups consumed 400 ml day−1 of milk containing 1,000 mg calcium plus 800 IU vitamin D3. We collected venous blood samples at baseline, 12 and 18 months to measure the serum concentrations of IL-6, TNF-α and hs-CRP. There were no exercise × supplement interactions, but serum IL-6 was 29% lower (95% CI, −62, 0) in the PRT group compared with the control group after 12 months. Conversely, IL-6 was 31% higher (95% CI, −2, 65) in the supplement group compared with the non-supplemented groups after 12 and 18 months. These between-group differences did not persist after adjusting for changes in fat mass. In the PRT group, mid-tibia muscle cross-sectional area increased less in men with higher pre-training inflammation compared with those men with lower inflammation (net difference ~2.5%, p < 0.05). In conclusion, serum IL-6 concentration decreased following PRT, whereas it increased after supplementation with fortified milk concomitant with changes in fat mass. Furthermore, low-grade inflammation at baseline restricted muscle hypertrophy following PRT.


Institute for Health and Ageing

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Journal Article

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