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A major research programme aiming to improve health prospects for older people needs participants.

Volunteers are sought for the projects at Leeds Beckett University, which will investigate factors affecting the health and quality of life of the UK’s ageing population.

The three-stranded programme, conducted by PhD students Mathew Butterworth, Matthew Lees and Emily Gregg, will look at dietary intake and physical activity levels of men and women aged up to 75 years old, as well as exploring the age-associated loss of muscle mass, sarcopenia.

The research will also explore the differences between older adults who have a history of falls and those who do not.

Dr Theocharis Ispoglou, who is overseeing two of the projects, said he expected that the findings would inform communities and policy makers about what needs to be done to best help the UK’s ageing population.

Mr Butterworth needs volunteers from the ages of 60 to 80 years old to explore how nutritional supplements containing amino acids affect the appetite of older people in comparison to protein supplements.

Mr Lees, who needs volunteers from 18 to 45 years old and from 60 to 80 years old to gain a better understanding of sarcopenia, said: “Given our ageing population, there is an urgent need to identify the causes of sarcopenia and to find ways in which dietary protein and exercise training may help people maintain muscle mass, functional capacity and quality of life.”

Ms Gregg is investigating the differences between older adults who have a history of falls and those who do not. To volunteer email: m.butterworth@leedsbeckett.ac.uk, m.lees@leedsbeckett.ac.uk or e.l.gregg@leedsbeckett.ac.uk.

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