Speaker Meeting 28th October 2019

Dr Beth Phillips and Dr Thomas Smart - Age and Health

On Monday 28th October 2019 members of the Rotary Club of Church Wilne were treated to an excellent presentation on age and health by Associate Professor Dr Beth Phillips and by Surgical Research Fellow Dr Thomas Smart. They were accompanied by Research Technician Amanda Gates.

Dr Beth Phillips is an Associate Professor in Clinical, Metabolic and Molecular Physiology at the University of Nottingham. Her research relates to improving life span and muscular skeletal ageing and focuses on increasing health span along with life span. People are living longer, but they are not necessarily healthier. Her aim is to develop different strategies for people of different ages, looking at bone and muscle composition and quality. She informed the members that individuals respond differently to the same treatment, such as taking nutrients like amino acid and leucine based protein supplements, which may reduce muscle loss in older women. Incredibly, Beth studies worms to see how muscles are affected by these treatments, with promising results. She also informed the Club that exercise-induced muscle growth incurs most rapidly in the early phase of training and if not sustained, the benefit is lost.

Dr Thomas Smart is researching sarcopenia, which is the degenerative loss of skeletal muscle mass quality and strength associated with ageing. He spoke about exploring the effect of high intensity interval training on muscle health in healthy and in diseased older adults and explained the rate of muscle loss is dependent on exercise levels and can lead to reduction in functional status and cause significant disability. The decline in muscle mass can, for example, reduce mobility and cause a fall which could lead to other injuries. Unfortunately the cause of sarcopenia is not known. Thomas told the members that cardiorespiratory fitness, which is the ability of the circulatory and respiratory systems to supply oxygen to muscles, declines with age and his research revolves around how a short-term exercise programme can help combat this decline. This will involve resistance training, such as weightlifting, and high intensity interval training which can comprise of a 15 minute "work out".

Volunteers are always welcome for the project which will involve a full day of tests. Given the importance of this research, many Rotarians put their name forward to take part in the tests. The value of the research is shown for those undergoing operations for cancer. Patients who undertake the 4-week pre-operation course are shown to benefit considerably and to increase their chances of recovering from the operation.

Beth, Thomas, Amanda and President Andy.

A volunteer undertaking a Cardio Pulmonary Exercise Test (CPET)
This is a fairly common measure for quite a few of our projects.
It is a useful way of measuring fitness pre and post intervention.

A volunteer having blood flow measurements of the brain
(middle cerebral artery) collected whilst exercising.

Church Wilne Rotary is keen to attract new members through various initiatives, associate membership, satellite clubs and Friends of Rotary, where people can help in the running of some of our events to get a taste of what it would be like to join our club.

For more information on Rotary, our speaker evenings, events and the main activities organised by our club please contact our Secretary, Mick White at: rccw1220@gmail.com

Rotarian Derek Sheehy-Smith
For Church Wilne Rotary

7th October 2019


Recent Events