OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of high-load strength training and protein intake in patients undergoing dialysis with a focus on muscle strength, physical performance, and muscle morphology. DESIGN: This was a randomized controlled study conducted in three dialysis centers. SUBJECTS: Subjects for the study included 29 patients undergoing dialysis. INTERVENTION: The participants went through a control period of 16 weeks before completing 16 weeks of strength training. Before the training period, the participants were randomly assigned to receive a protein or a nonprotein drink after every training session. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: Muscle strength and power were tested using the good strength equipment and the leg extensor power rig. Physical performance and function were assessed using a chair stand test and the Short Form 36 questionnaire. Muscle fiber type size and composition were analyzed in biopsies obtained from the m. vastus lateralis. RESULTS: All variables remained unchanged during the control period. After training, muscle strength and power, physical performance, and physical function increased significantly. Muscle fiber composition was changed by a relative decrease in type 2x muscle fiber number whereas muscle size at the fiber level was unchanged. There were no effects of combining the training with protein intake. CONCLUSIONS: High-load strength training is associated with improvements in muscle strength and power, physical performance, and quality of life. The effects were surprisingly not associated with muscle hypertrophy, and the results did not reveal any additional benefit of combining the training with protein intake. The positive results in muscle strength and physical performance have clinically relevant implications in the treatment of patients undergoing dialysis.
Journal of Renal Nutrition, 2013, Vol 23, Issue 2, p. 132-140
Journal Article; Randomized Controlled Trial; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't