Date Full Report Received


Date Abstract Report Received



Primary Investigator:

Obesity is associated with numerous chronic diseases. Many obese individuals, however, do not display overt disease. The skeletal muscle is an important tissue for keeping many nutrients in the blood in balance (e.g. blood sugars and fats). However, aspects of skeletal muscle metabolism become dysregulated with fat mass gain resulting in systemic complications (i.e. diabetes). Muscle mitochondria are responsible for several processes including maintaining cellular energy stores.
Maintenance of the proteins in the mitochondria represents an essential component of muscle health that has not been thoroughly studied in participants with a wide range of fat masses. Moreover, it has not been established if skeletal muscle mitochondrial proteins are nutritionally modulated in humans in response to a meal-like amount of protein. In healthy, normal-weight adults, mitochondrial protein synthesis is stimulated by amino acid administration intravenously. However, muscle inflammation in obese individuals may prevent optimal mitochondrial protein synthesis. Therefore, the main objectives of this study were 1) to determine mitochondrial protein synthesis rates at basal and after consuming a meal-like amount of lean pork at breakfast; and 2) to establish the systemic and muscle inflammatory response to the consumption of lean pork. Both of these objectives were determined in participants across a wide range of body compositions.

Main findings:
1) Basal rates of mitochondrial protein synthesis were similar among all participants regardless of their BMI score and body composition.
2) Consuming a meal-like quantity of lean pork was a potent stimulus to increase the mitochondrial protein synthetic response in all participants regardless of their BMI score.
3) Systemic and muscle inflammation was increased by eating pork in obese individuals only
4) The obesity related inflammation response (systemic and muscle) did not influence the stimulation of the mitochondrial protein synthetic response.

In summary, pork ingestion strongly stimulates mitochondrial protein synthesis in young men and women across a wide range of body compositions, which has important implications for muscle health. Further, neither systemic, nor muscle, inflammation appear to influence, or modulate, the postprandial mitochondrial protein synthetic response to lean pork ingestion. Obese individuals experience an inflammatory response to lean pork ingestion, but more research is needed to determine if this is related to specific food components or simply related excess fat mass.