Physical exercise or micronutrient supplementation for the wellbeing of the frail elderly? A randomised controlled trial

Division of Human Nutrition and Epidemiology, Wageningen University, The Netherlands.
British Journal of Sports Medicine (Impact Factor: 5.03). 05/2002; 36(2):126-31. DOI: 10.1136/bjsm.36.2.126
Source: PubMed


To examine the effects of 17 weeks of physical exercise and micronutrient supplementation on the psychological wellbeing of 139 independently living, frail, elderly subjects (inactive, body mass index < or =25 or experiencing weight loss).
Participants (mean (SD) age 78.5 (5.7)) were randomly assigned to: (a) comprehensive, moderate intensity, group exercise; (b) daily micronutrient enriched foods (25-100% recommended daily amount); (c) both; (d) neither. A social programme and identical regular foods were offered as attention control and placebo.
At baseline, moderate to low but significant correlations were found between general wellbeing scores and physical fitness (r = 0.28), functional performance (r = 0.37), and blood concentrations of pyridoxine (r = 0.20), folate (r = 0.25), and vitamin D (r = 0.23) (all p values < or =0.02), but not with physical activity levels and other blood vitamin concentrations. General wellbeing score and self rated health were not responsive to 17 weeks of exercise or nutritional intervention.
Psychological wellbeing in frail elderly people was not responsive to 17 weeks of intervention with exercise and/or micronutrient enriched foods. The moderate but significant correlations between wellbeing and physical fitness and several blood vitamin concentrations at baseline suggest that changes in wellbeing may occur after long term interventions.

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    • "117 Sample size was calculated based on an expected difference in 118 lean body mass of 1.1 kg between groups (Borsheim et al., 2008; 119 Esmarck et al., 2001) with an SD of 1.4 kg, a minimum of 24 120 subjects per treatment group would be required to detect a 121 difference (power = 80%, a = 0.05). With an expected dropout rate 122 of 25% (Bonnefoy et al., 2003; Chin et al., 2002), a sample size of 30 123 subjects per treatment group was considered adequate. 124 After inclusion, 62 of the 127 subjects participated in a 24-week 125 resistance-type exercise training program and 65 did not perform 126 any exercise program. "
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