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Smoking Speeds Up Muscle Loss

overed that the amounts of myostatin, a muscle growth inhibitor and MAFbx enzyme, which breaks down muscle protein, were higher in smokers than non-smokers.

Dr Philip Atherton said: "From our tests, we can conclude that smoking slows the muscle protein synthesis machinery - probably impairing day to day upkeep of muscle. We are all well aware of the ill affects of smoking on the lungs but our study reveals yet another cause of ill-health associated with smoking. Hopefully the UK smoking ban will encourage people to quit while they are still young, helping them to keep in good health in later life".

Their research is being presented by Dr Atherton at Life Sciences 2007, the first joint meeting of the Biochemical Society, the British Pharmacological Society and The Physiological Society.

The study has been published on line in American Journal of Physiology.


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