Effects of regular exercise combined with ingestion of vespa amino acid mixture on aerobic fitness and cardiovascular disease risk factors in sedentary older women: a preliminary study.

Sasai H, Matsuo T, Fujita M, Saito M, Tanaka K.
Division of Sports Medicine, Graduate School of Comprehensive Human Sciences, University of Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan. sasai@stat.taiiku.tsukuba.ac.jp

Vespa amino acid mixture (VAAM) is a nutrient liquid with an amino acid composition that is similar to that produced by hornet (Vespa mandarina) larvae. Animal studies have shown that VAAM may enhance fat metabolism and exercise tolerance. Whether these effects are evident in humans, however, remains to be fully elucidated, especially in older women. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether regular exercise combined with oral ingestion of VAAM improves aerobic fitness and cardiovascular disease risk factors in sedentary older women.

Twenty-four older women (aged 63.5±2.6 years) were randomly assigned to either the VAAM ingestion (3000 mg/day, n=12) or placebo (n=12) group. Subjects in both groups participated in 90-min exercise sessions consisting of aerobic exercise and light resistance training on a regular basis two times per week for 12 weeks.

After the 12-week exercise regimen, maximal oxygen uptake was significantly increased in those who ingested VAAM (from 25.3 to 27.7 mL/kg per min), but not in those who ingested the placebo (from 25.4 to 26.9 mL/kg per min). Intra-abdominal fat estimated by computed tomography was significantly reduced in those who ingested VAAM (from 102.0 to 83.3 cm2), but not in those who ingested the placebo (from 92.1 to 82.6 cm2). Total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and triglyceride levels remained unchanged in both groups.

Regular exercise combined with VAAM ingestion may slightly increase aerobic fitness and decrease intra-abdominal fat in sedentary older women. Further investigations with a large sample, however, would be warranted.