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BACOPD study

Laatste wijziging: 24 January 2022

Oral beta-alanine supplementation to patients with COPD: structural, metabolic and functional adaptations


Principal Investigator: Prof. Dr. Martijn Spruit, Researcher: Jana De Brandt


Preliminary evidence suggest that patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) suffer from lower-limb muscle dysfunction. This may, at least in part, be due to a combination of physical inactivity and muscle oxidative stress. Pilot data (not published) clearly show that patients with COPD have significantly lower carnosine, which is a pH buffer and antioxidant, levels in the m. vastus lateralis compared to healthy subjects. Beta-alanine supplementation has shown to increase muscle carnosine in trained and untrained healthy subjects.


This study will assess if muscle carnosine can be augmented by beta-alanine supplementation in 40 COPD patients (20 patients receive beta-alanine, 20 patients receive placebo). 20 healthy elderly controls will also be assessed to compare baseline muscle carnosine levels. The aims of this study are to:


  1. Investigate baseline muscle carnosine levels to confirm the pilot data in a larger sample of patients with COPD compared with healthy elderly subjects (primary outcome).
  2. Investigate if beta-alanine supplemenation augments muscle carnosine in COPD patients and whether it has an influence on exercise capacity, lower-limb muscle function and quality of life (primary outcome).
  3. To investigate baseline and postsupplementation structural and metabolic muscle characteristics and markers of oxidative stress and inflammation in COPD patients and its association with muscle carnosine levels (secondary outcome).