Another victim of the last 40 years of the war on animal fat is muscles. Animal fat is the best source of choline, a vitamin-like essential nutrient involved in many physiological processes, including normal metabolism and transport of lipids.
Choline deficiency causes muscle damage and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, but it seems it could also play a significant role in the prevention of neorudegenerative diseases like dementia and glaucoma. Even without reaching the point of being choline deficient, a low amount of this very important micro nutrient in our diets slows down muscle growth and strength. “Less than the ideal amount of choline intake may be impairing your strength gain,” said Chang Woock Lee, a researcher at the University of Houston-Victoria.
Eggs are probably the best source of choline, but only the yolk contains it. Beef, liver and seafood are also great sources.
In an interesting research, a group of 37 people, 50 to 69 years of age, was provided a diet with different amounts of choline. The 13 people assigned to the low group received 0.7 mg of choline per kilogram of lean dietary mass, the 11 people assigned to the medium group received 2.8 mg/kg, and the 13 people assigned to the high group received 7.5 mg/kg. There were no significant differences in age, sex, height, weight, body fat, lean body mass, or body mass index among the three groups. Nor were there significant differences in the consumption of total energy or other micronutrients.
The group whe ate more choline also consumed significantly more cholesterol, but it was choline that was associated with increased strength, Lee reported.
Three times a week, the participants performed eight exercises in three sets of eight to 12 repetitions at 70% of one maximum repetition. After 12 weeks of diet and exercise, Lee and his colleagues measured participant strength as a composite of 1 maximum repetition bench press and 1 maximum leg extension. The results were impressive: strength was much lower in the group with low choline than in the medium and high groups.
The problem is that low choline consumption might be common among older adults because the usual sources often contain animal fat and cholesterol, which people seeking a healthy diet often avoid. A keto or low carb diet, rich in animal fat, has shown to improve muscle mass and strenght, two very important factors at any age but even more significant for olde people, when muscle weakness can cause accidents and broken bones and sarcopenia ia ssociate with a dramatic increase in all cause mortality.