Jennifer Steiner, Ph.D. received a two-year $100,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health to investigate the impact of alcohol on aging skeletal muscle.
Aging-related sarcopenia, or the decline of skeletal muscle tissue with age, includes the loss of muscle mass, strength and function. It impairs mobility and can decrease independence and quality of life. Alcohol is a known lifestyle factor that may influence the development and progression of age-related sarcopenia, as it promotes skeletal muscle myopathy in adults at high doses, and at low doses may improve mitochondrial function.
Steiner’s research aims to analyze how high vs. low doses of alcohol influence the development and progression of sarcopenia and ensuing loss of skeletal muscle strength and performance.
Her study will also investigate the effects of alcohol on aging-related changes in skeletal muscle size and composition, and will determine sex-dependent effects of alcohol on aging-related sarcopenia.
“This will be the first investigation of the dose-dependent effects of alcohol on sarcopenia,” the project abstract reads, in part. “[It] will lay the foundation for future mechanistic investigations to determine how alcohol influences sarcopenia risk and aging associated changes to skeletal muscle in a sex-specific manner.”