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Title:
COMPOSITIONS AND METHODS TO POTENTIATE MUSCULOSKELETAL EFFECT OF ONE OR MORE ANABOLIC AMINO ACIDS ON BONE HEALTH
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2023/165870
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A method of improving and/or enhancing at least one of bone mineralization, bone strength, bone mass, and bone mineral density in an individual in need thereof, the method comprising administering to the individual a composition comprising one or more anabolic amino acids, and the composition further comprising one or more autophagy-inducing compounds. In one embodiment, the one or more autophagy-inducing compounds are selected from the group consisting of thymol, carvacrol, spermidine, urolithin (e.g., Urolithin A, B or D), rapamycin, Torin1, valproic acid, polyphenols (e.g., resveratrol), caffeine, metformin, 5' AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) activators, L-type calcium channel inhibitors, ketones (e.g. beta-hydroxybutyrate, ketone salts, or ketone ester derivatives), 4,4'- dimethoxychalcone and mixtures thereof.

Inventors:
FEIGE JEROME (CH)
GUT PHILIPP (CH)
CIVILETTO GABRIELE (CH)
REGARD (BOUTRY) CLAIRE (CH)
HORCAJADA MARIE NOËLLE (FR)
BONNET NICOLAS (FR)
Application Number:
PCT/EP2023/054426
Publication Date:
September 07, 2023
Filing Date:
February 22, 2023
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
NESTLE SA (CH)
International Classes:
A23L33/175; A61K31/05; A61K31/198; A61K45/06; A61P19/08
Domestic Patent References:
WO2012061907A22012-05-18
WO2020254664A12020-12-24
WO2020245299A12020-12-10
Foreign References:
US20220184015A12022-06-16
Other References:
UEHARA KAZUKI ET AL: "Shark protein improves bone mineral density in ovariectomized rats and inhibits osteoclast differentiation", NUTRITION, vol. 30, no. 6, June 2014 (2014-06-01), pages 719 - 725, XP028659494, ISSN: 0899-9007, DOI: 10.1016/J.NUT.2013.11.005
AMMANN P. ET AL: "Dietary Essential Amino Acid Supplements Increase Bone Strength by Influencing Bone Mass and Bone Microarchitecture in Ovariectomized Adult Rats Fed an Isocaloric Low-Protein Diet", JOURNAL OF BONE AND MINERAL RESEARCH, vol. 17, no. 7, 1 July 2002 (2002-07-01), US, pages 1264 - 1272, XP093042712, ISSN: 0884-0431, DOI: 10.1359/jbmr.2002.17.7.1264
JENNINGS AMY ET AL: "Amino Acid Intakes Are Associated With Bone Mineral Density and Prevalence of Low Bone Mass in Women: Evidence From Discordant Monozygotic Twins : AMINO ACID INTAKE, BMD, AND PREVALENCE OF LOW BONE MASS IN WOMEN", JOURNAL OF BONE AND MINERAL RESEARCH, vol. 31, no. 2, 30 September 2015 (2015-09-30), US, pages 326 - 335, XP093042716, ISSN: 0884-0431, Retrieved from the Internet DOI: 10.1002/jbmr.2703
VISSER J J ET AL: "Arginine supplementation in the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis", MEDICAL HYPOTHESES, EDEN PRESS, PENRITH, US, vol. 43, no. 5, 1 November 1994 (1994-11-01), pages 339 - 342, XP026308807, ISSN: 0306-9877, [retrieved on 19941101], DOI: 10.1016/0306-9877(94)90113-9
SAPKOTA MAHESH ET AL: "Thymol inhibits RANKL-induced osteoclastogenesis in RAW264.7 and BMM cells and LPS-induced bone loss in mice", FOOD AND CHEMICAL TOXICOLOGY, vol. 120, 1 October 2018 (2018-10-01), GB, pages 418 - 429, XP093042632, ISSN: 0278-6915, DOI: 10.1016/j.fct.2018.07.032
LUO D ET AL: "Rapamycin reduces severity of senile osteoporosis by activating osteocyte autophagy", OSTEOPOROSIS INTERNATIONAL, SPRINGER LONDON, LONDON, vol. 27, no. 3, 22 September 2015 (2015-09-22), pages 1093 - 1101, XP036227898, ISSN: 0937-941X, [retrieved on 20150922], DOI: 10.1007/S00198-015-3325-5
SEONG HWAN KIM ET AL: "Osteoclast differentiation inhibitors: a patent review (2008 – 2012)", EXPERT OPINION ON THERAPEUTIC PATENTS, vol. 23, no. 12, 4 October 2013 (2013-10-04), GB, pages 1591 - 1610, XP055306366, ISSN: 1354-3776, DOI: 10.1517/13543776.2013.842556
FRIED LPTANGEN CMWALSTON J ET AL.: "Frailty in older adults: evidence for a phenotype", J. GERONTOL. A. BIOL. SCI. MED. SCI., vol. 56, no. 3, 2001, pages M146 - M156
PIERREFITE-CARLE, V.SANTUCCI-DARMANIN, S.BREUIL, V.CAMUZARD, O.CARLE, G. F.: "Autophagy in bone: self-eating to stay in balance", AGEING RES REV, vol. 24, 2015, pages 206 - 217, XP029315314, DOI: 10.1016/j.arr.2015.08.004
SMITH, M.WILKINSON, S: "ER homeostasis and autophagy", ESSAYS BIOCHEM., vol. 61, 2017, pages 625 - 635
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
CHAUTARD, Cécile (CH)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

The invention is claimed as follows:

1. A method of improving and/or enhancing at least one of bone mineralization, bone strength, bone mass, and bone mineral density in an individual in need thereof, the method comprising administering to the individual a composition comprising one or more anabolic amino acids, and the composition further comprising one or more autophagyinducing compounds.

2. The method of Claim 1 wherein the one or more autophagy-inducing compounds are selected from the group consisting of thymol, carvacrol, spermidine, urolithin (e.g., Urolithin A, B or D), rapamycin, Torinl, valproic acid, polyphenols (e.g., resveratrol), caffeine, metformin, 5' AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) activators, L-type calcium channel inhibitors, ketones (e.g. beta-hydroxybutyrate, ketone salts, or ketone ester derivatives), 4,4’ -dimethoxy chaicone and mixtures thereof.

3. The method of Claim 1, wherein the one or more anabolic amino acids are selected from the group consisting of Leucine, Isoleucine, Arginine, Glutamine, Citrulline and mixtures thereof.

4. The method of Claim 1, wherein the one or more anabolic amino acids are selected from the group consisting of Leucine, Isoleucine, Arginine, Glutamine, Citrulline, and mixtures thereof.

5. The method of Claim 1, wherein the anabolic amino acid is selected from the group consisting of Leucine, Arginine, Glutamine, and mixtures thereof, and the composition is administered in an amount effective to activate mTOR in the individual.

6. The method of Claim 1, wherein the composition is administered in an amount effective to induce autophagy in bone.

7. The method of Claim 1, wherein the individual is an aging individual.

8. The method of Claim 1, wherein the individual has a bone disease.

9. The method of Claim 1, wherein the individual has a condition selected from the group consisting of osteoporosis, osteomalacia, rickets, osteitis fibrosa cystica, Paget's disease of bone, pyramiding, and combinations thereof.

10. The method of Claim 1, wherein the composition comprises protein that provides at least a portion of the anabolic amino acid and/or at least a portion of the autophagy -inducing compounds, wherein at least a portion of the protein is selected from the group consisting of protein from an animal source, protein from a plant source, and mixtures thereof.

11. The method of Claim 1, wherein the composition comprises a protein selected from the group consisting of milk protein, whey protein, caseinate, micellar casein, pea protein, soy protein, and mixtures thereof.

12. The method of Claim 1, wherein the composition comprises a component selected from the group consisting of free form amino acids, unhydrolyzed protein, partially hydrolyzed protein, extensively hydrolyzed protein, and mixtures thereof.

13. The method of Claim 12, wherein at least a portion of the protein is hydrolyzed.

14. The method of Claim 1, wherein the composition comprises at least partially hydrolyzed protein comprising peptides having 2-10 amino acids.

15. The method of Claim 12, wherein the protein has a formulation selected from the group consisting of (i) at least 50% of the protein has a molecular weight of 1-5 kDa of the protein, (ii) at least 50% of the protein has a molecular weight of 5-10 kDa of the protein and (iii) at least 50% of the protein has a molecular weight of 10-20 kDa of the protein.

16. The method of Claim 1, wherein the composition further comprises a carbohydrate source and/or a fat source.

17. The method of Claim 1, wherein the composition is administered by at least one route selected from the group of oral, enteral, parenteral, and intravenous injection.

18. The method of Claim 1, wherein the composition comprises the anabolic amino acid in an amount approximately equal to or greater than an amount of the anabolic amino acid.

19. The method of Claim 1, wherein the one or more autophagy -inducing compounds comprise one or more autophagy-inducing amino acids or precursors thereof.

20. The method of Claim 19, wherein the one or more autophagy -inducing amino acids are selected from the group consisting of Glycine, Cysteine, Proline, Glutamate, Valine, Tyrosine, a precursor thereof, and mixtures thereof.

Description:
TITLE

COMPOSITIONS AND METHODS TO POTENTIATE MUSCULOSKELETAL EFFECT OF ONE OR MORE ANABOLIC AMINO ACIDS ON BONE HEALTH

BACKGROUND

[0001] The present disclosure generally relates to compositions and methods for improving and/or enhancing at least one of bone mineralization, bone strength, bone mass, and bone mineral density in an individual in need thereof by administering to the individual a composition comprising one or more anabolic amino acids and one or more autophagyinducing compounds. More specifically, the present disclosure relates to administering a composition comprising the one or more anabolic amino acids, the composition further comprising the one or more autophagy -inducing compounds in an amount effective for the composition to be at least neutral regarding autophagy and preferably positive regarding autophagy, despite any negative effect on autophagy from the one or more anabolic amino acids. The compositions can concomitantly promote protein synthesis and removal of damaged cellular materials. The recipient of administration can be a critically ill patient, for example a patient in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU); an ageing patient, for example an elderly individual; a patient with a bone disease or suffering bone loss; a patient with sarcopenia or frailty; or an individual with chronic kidney disease (e.g., with a loss of amino acids from dialysis) and/or acute kidney injury.

[0002] Due to major advances in intensive care medicine, critically ill patients often survive acute conditions that were previously lethal. Nevertheless, mortality remains high in these patients who survive this initial phase and enter a chronic phase of critical illness. Mortality is often from non-resolving multiple organ failure, acute kidney injury and failure, critical illness myopathy, or less severe forms of muscle weakness. Treatments have been introduced to improve muscle myopathy and weakness, such as hyperalimentation, growth hormone, or androgens, but have failed because these interventions unexpectedly increased the risk of organ failure and death. Moreover, the nutritional support to trauma and surgery patients may actually have detrimental effects.

[0003] Effective measures to provide critically ill patients with appropriate treatments and adequate nutrition remain lacking. [0004] Moreover, age-related loss of muscle, bone mineral density, bone mass and function is inevitable in all individuals; however its progression largely depends on genetic and environmental factors such as physical activity and nutritional intake. Sarcopenia has been defined as the point where the age-related loss of muscle mass and function gets debilitating and impacts quality of life. In contrast, frailty is another classification of age- related physical function decline that features low muscle strength and functionality, but not muscle mass. Sarcopenia is defined clinically according to low muscle mass and function, using cutoffs which stratify the elderly population for individuals in a state of pathological mobility. Sarcopenia predicts future disability and mortality, and was assigned an official ICD-10 disease code in 2016 (Anker et al., 2016).

[0005] Needed in the art are compositions comprising anabolic amino acids and autophagy inducer and methods of using such compositions for increasing or maintaining musculoskeletal effect, bone benefits (e.g., synergistic effect on bone strength and additional effect on bone mass).

SUMMARY

[0006] The degradation of cytoplasmic proteins is mediated by a cellular process referred to as macroautophagy, also referred to simply as autophagy. Autophagy processes are also involved in the inflammatory response and facilitate immune system destruction of bacteria. Autophagy constitutes the major lysosomal degradation pathway recycling damaged and potentially harmful cellular material such as damaged mitochondria. Notably, autophagy counteracts cell death and prolongs life span in various ageing models.

[0007] As detailed later herein, the inventors found that some amino acids that are known to be involved in musculoskeletal anabolism through the mTOR pathway, for example Arginine, Glutamine and Leucine, and/or anabolic branched-chain amino acids, for example Leucine and Isoleucine, reduce basal autophagy. However, the inventors discovered that autophagy-inducing compounds such as thymol, carvacrol, spermidine, urolithin (e.g., Urolithin A, B or D), rapamycin, Torinl, valproic acid, polyphenols (e.g., resveratrol), caffeine, metformin, 5' AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) activators, L-type calcium channel inhibitors, ketones (e.g., beta-hydroxybutyrate, ketone salts, or ketone ester derivatives), 4,4’ -dimethoxy chaicone and mixtures thereof, can strongly induce autophagy and thus may counteract any negative impact from the anabolic amino acids on autophagy, including loss of bone mass and function, muscle and neuromuscular degeneration, and loss of muscle mass and function.

[0008] In another aspect, as detailed in the experimental data set forth later herein, the inventors found that some amino acids that are known to be involved in musculoskeletal anabolism through the mTOR pathway, for example Arginine, Glutamine and Leucine, and/or anabolic branchedchain amino acids, for example Leucine and Isoleucine, reduce basal autophagy. However, the inventors surprisingly discovered that some autophagy inducing agents (such as thymol, carvacrol, spermidine, urolithin (e.g., Urolithin A, B or D), rapamycin, Torinl, valproic acid, polyphenols (e.g., resveratrol), caffeine, metformin, 5' AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) activators, L-type calcium channel inhibitors, ketones (e.g., beta-hydroxybutyrate, ketone salts, or ketone ester derivatives), or 4,4’- dimethoxychalcone) can strongly induce autophagy and thus may counteract any negative impact from the anabolic amino acids on autophagy, including bone degeneration, and loss of bone mass and strength.

[0009] Accordingly, in a general embodiment, the present disclosure provides a method of potentiating musculoskeletal and bone effect of one or more anabolic amino acids in an individual in need thereof. The method comprises administering to the individual a composition comprising the one or more anabolic amino acids, the composition further comprising one or more autophagy -inducing compounds in a total amount effective for the composition to be at least neutral regarding autophagy and preferably positive regarding autophagy.

[0010] In an aspect, the present disclosure provides a method of improving and/or enhancing at least one of bone mineralization, bone strength, bone mineral density, and bone mass in an individual in need thereof, the method comprising administering to the individual a composition comprising one or more anabolic amino acids, and the composition further comprising one or more autophagy -inducing agents or precursors thereof.

[0011] In an embodiment, the one or more anabolic amino acids are selected from the group consisting of Leucine, Isoleucine, Arginine, Glutamine, Citrulline and mixtures thereof. The one or more anabolic amino acids can comprise at least one of Leucine, Glutamine or Arginine, in an amount effective to activate mTOR in the individual.

[0012] In an embodiment, the one or more autophagy-inducing compounds are selected from the group consisting of thymol, carvacrol, spermidine, urolithin (e.g., Urolithin A, B or D), rapamycin, Torinl, valproic acid, polyphenols (e.g., resveratrol), caffeine, metformin, 5' AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) activators, L-type calcium channel inhibitors, ketones (e.g., beta-hydroxybutyrate, ketone salts, or ketone ester derivatives), 4,4’- dimethoxychalcone and mixtures thereof.

[0013] In an embodiment, the composition induces autophagy in skeletal muscle.

[0014] In an embodiment, the composition induces autophagy in bone cells.

[0015] In an embodiment, the individual is an ageing individual.

[0016] In an embodiment, the individual has sarcopenia or frailty or is at risk of developing sarcopenia or frailty.

[0017] In an embodiment, the individual is critically ill.

[0018] In an embodiment, the individual has critical illness myopathy or is at risk of developing critical illness myopathy.

[0019] In an embodiment, the individual has a critical ilness with acute kidney failure or is at risk of developing acute kidney failure.

[0020] In an embodiment, the individual has a chronic kidney disease with or without related loss of bone mass or strength.

[0021] In an embodiment, the individual has a bone disease.

[0022] In an embodiment, the individual has a condition selected from the group consisting of osteoporosis, osteomalacia (adults) and conditions of low bone mineral density or mass, such as fathering growth in children, osteitis fibrosa cystica, Paget's disease of bone, and pyramiding (turtles).

[0023] In an embodiment, the composition comprises a protein that provides at least a portion of the one or more anabolic amino acids and/or at least a portion of the one or more autophagy-inducing compounds, the protein is selected from the group consisting of (i) protein from an animal source, (ii) protein from a plant source and (iii) a mixture thereof, preferably one or more of (a) milk protein, (b) whey protein, (c) caseinate, (d) micellar casein, (e) pea protein, (f) soy protein and (g) mixtures thereof. In a particular non-limiting example, at least a portion of the protein is collagen, i.e., unhydrolyzed and/or hydrolyzed collagen.

[0024] The protein can be selected from the group consisting of (i) free form amino acids, (ii) unhydrolyzed protein, (iii) partially hydrolyzed protein, (iv) extensively hydrolyzed protein, and (v) mixtures thereof. For example, the partially hydrolyzed protein may comprise unhydrolyzed protein, amino acids, peptides and polypeptides. The extensively hydrolyzed protein may comprise amino acids, peptides and polypeptides. In one embodiment, the partially hydrolyzed protein or extensively hydrolyzed protein can comprise peptides having a length of 2 to 10 amino acids. Optionally at least a portion of the protein is hydrolyzed. For example, 5 to 95% of the protein may be hydrolyzed. Optionally the protein has a formulation selected from the group consisting of (i) at least 50% of the protein has a molecular weight of 1-5 kDa of the protein, (ii) at least 50% of the protein has a molecular weight of 5-10 kDa of the protein and (iii) at least 50% of the protein has a molecular weight of 10-20 kDa of the protein.

[0025] In an embodiment, the composition comprises a carbohydrate source and/or a fat source.

[0026] In an embodiment, the administering uses at least one route selected from the group of oral, enteral, parenteral and intravenous injection.

[0027] In an embodiment, the total amount of the one or more anabolic amino acids is approximately equal to or is greater than a total amount of the one or more anabolic amino acids in the composition.

[0028] In another embodiment, the present disclosure provides a composition comprising one or more anabolic amino acids, the composition further comprising one or more autophagy -inducing compounds in a total amount effective for the composition to be at least neutral regarding autophagy and preferably positive regarding autophagy. The composition can be selected from the group consisting of food compositions, dietary supplements, nutritional compositions, nutraceuticals, powdered nutritional products to be reconstituted in water or milk before consumption, food additives, medicaments, drinks, and combinations thereof.

[0029] An advantage of one or more embodiments provided by the present disclosure is to improve the condition of critically ill animals, critically ill humans, ageing animals, or ageing humans.

[0030] Another advantage of one or more embodiments provided by the present disclosure is to prevent or treat excessive catabolism, e.g., in a critically ill patient or an ageing individual.

[0031] Still another advantage of one or more embodiments provided by the present disclosure is to reduce or prevent the risk of morbidity or mortality due to excessive catabolism, e.g., in a critically ill patient or an ageing individual.

[0032] An additional advantage of the present disclosure is to reverse, treat or cure multiple organ dysfunction syndrome in a critically ill patient. [0033] An additional advantage of the present disclosure is to prevent or treat bone loss, maintain bone health, enhance or improve bone mineralization, enhance or improve bone strength, enhance or improve bone mineral density and/or enhance or improve bone mass in an individual in need thereof.

[0034] An additional advantage of the present disclosure is to prevent or treat a bone disease selected from the group consisting of osteoporosis, osteomalacia (adults), conditions of low bone mineral density or mass, such as fathering growth in children, osteitis fibrosa cystica, Paget's disease of bone, and pyramiding (turtles).

[0035] In another aspect, as detailed in the experimental data set forth later herein, the inventors found that some amino acids that are known to be involved in musculoskeletal anabolism through the mTOR pathway, for example Arginine, Glutamine and Leucine, and/or anabolic branchedchain amino acids, for example Leucine and Isoleucine, reduce basal autophagy. However, the inventors surprisingly discovered that some autophagy inducing agents such as thymol and/or some amino acids, such as Glycine, Cysteine, Proline, Glutamate, Valine, Tyrosine or their precursors such as Serine (as a precursor to Glycine), NAcetyl Cysteine, and Methionine (as a precursor to Cysteine) can strongly induce autophagy and thus may counteract any negative impact from the anabolic amino acids on autophagy, including bone degeneration, and loss of bone mass and strength.

[0036] Accordingly, in a general embodiment, the present disclosure provides a method of potentiating musculoskeletal and bone effect of one or more anabolic amino acids in an individual in need thereof. The method comprises administering to the individual a composition comprising the one or more anabolic amino acids, the composition further comprising one or more autophagy -inducing agents and/or one or more autophagy -inducing amino acids or their precursors in a total amount effective for the composition to be at least neutral regarding autophagy and preferably positive regarding autophagy.

[0037] In an embodiment, the one or more anabolic amino acids are selected from the group consisting of Leucine, Isoleucine, Arginine, Glutamine, Citrulline, Lysine and mixtures thereof. The one or more anabolic amino acids can comprise at least one of Leucine, Glutamine or Arginine, in an amount effective to activate mTOR in the individual.

[0038] In an embodiment, the one or more autophagy-inducing agents comprise thymol. [0039] In an embodiment, the one or more autophagy -inducing amino acids are selected from the group consisting of Glycine, Cysteine, Proline, Glutamate, Valine, Tyrosine or their precursors and mixtures thereof. [0040] In an embodiment, the composition induces autophagy in bone.

[0041] In an embodiment, the composition induces autophagy in bone cells.

[0042] In an embodiment, the individual is an ageing individual.

[0043] In an embodiment, the individual is critically ill.

[0044] In an embodiment, the individual has critical illness myopathy or is at risk of developing critical illness myopathy.

[0045] In an embodiment, the individual has a critical illness with acute kidney failure or is at risk of developing acute kidney failure.

[0046] In an embodiment, the individual has a chronic kidney disease with or without related loss of bone mass or strength.

[0047] In an embodiment, the individual has a bone disease.

[0048] In an embodiment, the individual has a condition selected from the group consisting of osteoporosis, osteomalacia (adults) and rickets (children), osteitis fibrosa cystica, Paget's disease of bone, and pyramiding (turtles).

[0049] In an embodiment, the composition comprises a protein that provides at least a portion of the one or more anabolic amino acids and/or at least a portion of the one or more autophagy-inducing agents and/or the one or more autophagy-inducing amino acids or their precursors, the protein is selected from the group consisting of (i) protein from an animal source, (ii) protein from a plant source and (iii) a mixture thereof, preferably one or more of (a) milk protein, (b) whey protein, (c) caseinate, (d) micellar casein, (e) pea protein, (f) soy protein and (g) mixtures thereof. In a particular non-limiting example, at least a portion of the protein is collagen, i.e., unhydrolyzed and/or hydrolyzed collagen.

[0050] The protein can be selected from the group consisting of (i) free form amino acids, (ii) unhydrolyzed protein, (iii) partially hydrolyzed protein, (iv) extensively hydrolyzed protein, and (v) mixtures thereof. The protein can comprise peptides having a length of 2 to 10 amino acids. Optionally at least a portion of the protein is 5 to 95% hydrolyzed. Optionally the protein has a formulation selected from the group consisting of (i) at least 50% of the protein has a molecular weight of 1-5 kDa, (ii) at least 50% of the protein has a molecular weight of 5-10 kDa and (iii) at least 50% of the protein has a molecular weight of 10-20 kDa. [0051] In an embodiment, the composition comprises a carbohydrate source and/or a fat source.

[0052] In an embodiment, the administering uses at least one route selected from the group of oral, enteral, parenteral and intravenous injection. [0053] In an embodiment, the total amount of the one or more anabolic amino acids is approximately equal to or is greater than a total amount of the one or more anabolic amino acids in the composition.

[0054] In another embodiment, the present disclosure provides a composition comprising one or more anabolic amino acids, the composition further comprising one or more autophagy-inducing amino acids or their precursors in a total amount effective for the composition to be at least neutral regarding autophagy and preferably positive regarding autophagy. The composition can be selected from the group consisting of food compositions, dietary supplements, nutritional compositions, nutraceuticals, powdered nutritional products to be reconstituted in water or milk before consumption, food additives, medicaments, drinks, and combinations thereof.

[0055] An advantage of one or more embodiments provided by the present disclosure is to improve the condition of critically ill animals, critically ill humans, ageing animals, or ageing humans.

[0056] Another advantage of one or more embodiments provided by the present disclosure is to prevent or treat excessive catabolism, e.g., in a critically ill patient or an ageing individual.

[0057] Still another advantage of one or more embodiments provided by the present disclosure is to reduce or prevent the risk of morbidity or mortality due to excessive catabolism, e.g., in a critically ill patient or an ageing individual.

[0058] An additional advantage of the present disclosure is to reverse, treat or cure multiple organ dysfunction syndrome in a critically ill patient.

[0059] An additional advantage of the present disclosure is to prevent or treat bone loss, maintain bone health, enhance or improve bone mineralization, enhance or improve bone strength, enhance or improve bone mineral density and/or enhance or improve bone mass in an individual in need thereof.

[0060] An additional advantage of the present disclosure is to prevent or treat a bone disease selected from the group consisting of osteoporosis, osteomalacia (adults) and rickets (children), osteitis fibrosa cystica, Paget's disease of bone, and pyramiding (turtles).

[0061] In yet another aspect, the present disclosure provides a method of improving and/or enhancing at least one of bone mineralization, bone strength, bone mineral density, and bone mass in an individual in need thereof, the method comprising administering to the individual a composition comprising an anabolic amino acid, and the composition further comprising an autophagy -inducing agent or a precursor thereof.

[0062] In one embodiment, the autophagy-inducing agent comprises thymol.

[0063] In one embodiment, the autophagy-inducing agent comprises an autophagyinducing amino acid.

[0064] In one embodiment, the autophagy -inducing amino acid is selected from the group consisting of Glycine, Cysteine, Proline, Glutamate, Valine, Tyrosine, a precursor thereof, and mixtures thereof.

[0065] In one embodiment, the precursor is selected from the group consisting of Serine, N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC), Methionine, and mixtures thereof.

[0066] In one embodiment, the one or more anabolic amino acids are selected from the group consisting of Leucine, Isoleucine, Arginine, Glutamine, Citrulline, and mixtures thereof.

[0067] In one embodiment, the anabolic amino acid is selected from the group consisting of Leucine, Arginine, Glutamine, and mixtures thereof, and the composition is administered in an amount effective to activate mTOR in the individual.

[0068] In one embodiment, the composition is administered in an amount effective to induce autophagy in bone.

[0069] In one embodiment, the individual is an aging individual.

[0070] In one embodiment, the individual has a bone disease.

[0071] In one embodiment, the individual has a condition selected from the group consisting of osteoporosis, osteomalacia, rickets, osteitis fibrosa cystica, Paget's disease of bone, pyramiding, and combinations thereof.

[0072] In one embodiment, the composition comprises protein that provides at least a portion of the anabolic amino acid and/or at least a portion of the autophagy-inducing agent or precursor thereof, wherein at least a portion of the protein is selected from the group consisting of protein from an animal source, protein from a plant source, and mixtures thereof. [0073] In one embodiment, the composition comprises a protein selected from the group consisting of milk protein, whey protein, caseinate, micellar casein, pea protein, soy protein, and mixtures thereof.

[0074] In one embodiment, the composition comprises a component selected from the group consisting of free form amino acids, unhydrolyzed protein, partially hydrolyzed protein, extensively hydrolyzed protein, and mixtures thereof. [0075] In one embodiment, at least a portion of the protein is hydrolyzed.

[0076] In one embodiment, the composition comprises at least partially hydrolyzed protein comprising peptides having 2-10 amino acids.

[0077] In one embodiment, the protein has a formulation selected from the group consisting of (i) at least 50% of the protein has a molecular weight of 1-5 kDa of the protein, (ii) at least 50% of the protein has a molecular weight of 5-10 kDa of the protein and (iii) at least 50% of the protein has a molecular weight of 10-20 kDa of the protein.

[0078] In one embodiment, the composition further comprises a carbohydrate source and/or a fat source.

[0079] In one embodiment, the composition is administered by at least one route selected from the group of oral, enteral, parenteral, and intravenous injection.

[0080] In one embodiment, the composition comprises the anabolic amino acid in an amount approximately equal to or greater than an amount of the anabolic amino acid.

[0081] Additional features and advantages are described in, and will be apparent from, the following Detailed Description and the Figures.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

[0082] FIG. 1 is graph showing an exemplary autophagy activation by individual amino acids in the experimental example disclosed herein. As shown in FIG. 1, amino acids such as Glycine, Cysteine, Proline, Glutamate, Valine, Tyrosine, Arginine, Asparagine and Phenylalanine all show at least some autophagy activation effects. Preferably, Glycine, Cysteine, Proline, Glutamate, Valine, and Tyrosine all show autophagy activation effects.

[0083] FIG. 2 is a set of graphs showing another exemplary autophagy activation by individual ammo acids in the experimental example disclosed herein. As shown in FIG. 2, Cysteine, Glycine, and Valine all show autophagy activation effects, while Leucine does not show any autophagy activation effect.

[0084] FIG. 3 is a set of graphs showing yet another exemplary autophagy activation by individual ammo acids in the experimental example disclosed herein. As shown in FIG. 3, Proline and Glutamate show clear autophagy activation effects, while arginine shows less autophagy activation effects as compared with Proline and Glutamate. [0085] FIG. 4 shows the effect of a specific amino acid mix (AAs) on force frequency response in old rats (Aged) and the comparison with adult mice fed with a normal diet. 20 months-old rats were fed either a control diet or the same diet supplemented with a specific amino acids mix for 3 months. 6 months-old adult mice were fed a control diet for 3 months. Results were expressed as mean± S.E.M. Adult: 6 months-old mice fed a control diet. Aged: 20 months-old fed a control diet. Aged+ AAs: 20 months-old fed a control diet supplemented with a specific amino acids mix.

[0086] FIG. 5 shows the results of assessing the long term (3 months) effect of thymol (an exemplary autophagy-inducing agent) and an amino acid mix, known as autophagy inducers, alone or in combination, on bone health (bone mass and/or bone strength) in old mice.

[0087] FIG. 6 is a set of graphs showing the additional effect of the combination of the thymol and the amino acid mix (AA) on bone mass (FIG. 6a) and the synergistic effect of the combination of the thymol and the amino acid mix (AA) on bone strength (FIG. 6b).

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0088] Definitions

[0089] Some definitions are provided hereafter. Nevertheless, definitions may be located in the “Embodiments” section below, and the above header “Definitions” does not mean that such disclosures in the “Embodiments” section are not definitions.

[0090] All percentages are by weight of the total weight of the composition unless expressed otherwise. Similarly, all amounts and all ratios are by weight unless expressed otherwise. When reference is made to the pH, values correspond to pH measured at 25 °C with standard equipment. As used herein, “about,” “approximately” and “substantially” are understood to refer to numbers in a range of numerals, for example the range of -10% to +10% of the referenced number, preferably -5% to +5% of the referenced number, more preferably -1% to +1% of the referenced number, most preferably -0.1% to +0.1% of the referenced number.

[0091] Furthermore, all numerical ranges herein should be understood to include all integers, whole or fractions, within the range. Moreover, these numerical ranges should be construed as providing support for a claim directed to any number or subset of numbers in that range. For example, a disclosure of from 1 to 10 should be construed as supporting a range of from 1 to 8, from 3 to 7, from 1 to 9, from 3.6 to 4.6, from 3.5 to 9.9, and so forth. [0092] As used herein and in the appended claims, the singular form of a word includes the plural, unless the context clearly dictates otherwise. Thus, the references “a,” “an” and “the” are generally inclusive of the plurals of the respective terms. For example, reference to “an amino acid” or “the amino acid” includes a plurality of such “amino acids.” The term “and/or” used in the context of “X and/or Y” should be interpreted as “X,” or “Y,” or “X and Y.” Similarly, “at least one of X or Y” should be interpreted as “X,” or “Y,” or “both X and Y.”

[0093] Similarly, the words “comprise,” “comprises,” and “comprising” are to be interpreted inclusively rather than exclusively. Likewise, the terms “include,” “including” and “or” should all be construed to be inclusive, unless such a construction is clearly prohibited from the context. However, the embodiments provided by the present disclosure may lack any element that is not specifically disclosed herein. Thus, a disclosure of an embodiment defined using the term “comprising” is also a disclosure of embodiments “consisting essentially of’ and “consisting of’ the disclosed components.

[0094] Where used herein, the term “example,” particularly when followed by a listing of terms, is merely exemplary and illustrative, and should not be deemed to be exclusive or comprehensive. Any embodiment disclosed herein can be combined with any other embodiment disclosed herein unless explicitly indicated otherwise.

[0095] “Animal” includes, but is not limited to, mammals, which includes but is not limited to rodents, aquatic mammals, domestic animals such as dogs and cats, farm animals such as sheep, pigs, cows and horses, and humans. Where “animal,” “mammal” or a plural thereof is used, these terms also apply to any animal that is capable of the effect exhibited or intended to be exhibited by the context of the passage, e.g., an animal capable of autophagy. As used herein, the term “patient” is understood to include an animal, for example a mammal, and preferably a human that is receiving or intended to receive treatment, as treatment is herein defined. While the terms “individual” and “patient” are often used herein to refer to a human, the present disclosure is not so limited.

[0096] Accordingly, the terms “individual” and “patient” refer to any animal, mammal or human that can benefit from the methods and compositions disclosed herein. Indeed, nonhuman animals undergo prolonged critical illness that mimics the human condition. These critically ill animals undergo the same metabolic, immunological and endocrine disturbances and development of organ failure , bone loss and muscle wasting as the human counterpart. Moreover, animals experience the effects of ageing as well. [0097] The term “elderly” in the context of a human means an age from birth of at least 55 years, preferably above 63 years, more preferably above 65 years, and most preferably above 70 years. The term “older adult” or “ageing individual” in the context of a human means an age from birth of at least 45 years, preferably above 50 years, more preferably above 55 years, and includes elderly individuals.

[0098] For other animals, an “older adult” or “ageing individual” has exceeded 50% of the average lifespan for its particular species and/or breed within a species. An animal is considered “elderly” if it has surpassed 66% of the average expected lifespan, preferably if it has surpassed the 75% of the average expected lifespan, more preferably if it has surpassed 80% of the average expected lifespan. An ageing cat or dog has an age from birth of at least about 5 years. An elderly cat or dog has an age from birth of at least about 7 years.

[0099] “Sarcopenia” is defined as the age-associated loss of muscle mass and functionality (including muscle strength and gait speed). Sarcopenia can be characterized by one or more of low muscle mass, low muscle strength and low physical performance.

[00100] Low muscle mass can generally be based on low appendicular lean mass normalized to height square (ALM index), particularly ALM index less than 7.00 kg/m2 for men and 5.40 kg/m2 for women. Low physical performance can generally be based on gait speed, particularly gait speed of <0.8 m/sec. Low muscle strength can generally be based on low hand grip strength, particularly hand grip strength less than 26 kg in men and less than 18 kg in women.

[00101] Additionally or alternatively, sarcopenia can be diagnosed in a subject based on the definition of the EWGSOP (European Working Group for Sarcopenia in Older People), for example as described in Crutz-Jentoft et al., 2010. Low muscle mass can generally be based on low appendicular lean mass normalized to height square (ALM index), particularly ALM index less than 7.23 kg/m 2 for men and 5.67 kg/m 2 for women. Low physical performance can generally be based on gait speed, particularly gait speed of <0.8 m/sec. Low muscle strength can generally be based on low hand grip strength, particularly hand grip strength less than 30kg in men and less than 20kg in women.

[00102] Additionally or alternatively, sarcopenia can be diagnosed in a subject based on the definition of the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (FNIH), for example as described in Studenski et al., 2014. Low muscle mass can generally be based on low appendicular lean mass (ALM) normalized to body mass index (BMI; kg/m2), particularly ALM to BMI less than 0.789 for men and 0.512 for women. Low physical performance can generally be based on gait speed, particularly gait speed of <0.8 m/sec. Low muscle strength can generally be based on low hand grip strength, particularly hand grip strength less than 26kg in men and less than 16kg in women. Low muscle strength can also generally be based on low hand grip strength to body mass index, particularly hand grip strength to body mass index less than 1.00 in men and less than 0.56 in women.

[00103] As used herein, “frailty” is defined as a clinically recognizable state of increased vulnerability resulting from aging-associated decline in reserve and function across multiple physiologic systems such that the ability to cope with everyday or acute stressors is compromised. In the absence of an established quantitative standard, frailty has been operationally defined by Fried et al. as meeting three out of five phenotypic criteria indicating compromised energetics: (1) weakness (grip strength in the lowest 20% of population at baseline, adjusted for gender and body mass index), (2) poor endurance and energy (selfreported exhaustion associated with VO2 max), (3) slowness (lowest 20% of population at baseline, based on time to walk 15 feet, adjusting for gender and standing height), (4) low physical activity (weighted score of kilocalories expended per week at baseline, lowest quintile of physical activity identified for each gender; e.g., less than 383 kcal/week for males and less than 270 kcal/week for females), and/or unintentional weight loss (10 lbs. in past year). Fried LP, Tangen CM, Walston J, et al., “Frailty in older adults: evidence for a phenotype.” J. Gerontol. A. Biol. Sci. Med. Sci. 56(3):M146-M156 (2001). A pre-frail stage, in which one or two of these criteria are present, identifies a high risk of progressing to frailty. [00104] “ Cachexia” is a complex metabolic syndrome associated with underlying illness and characterized by loss of muscle with or without loss of fat mass. The prominent clinical feature of cachexia is weight loss in adults (corrected for fluid retention) or growth failure in children (excluding endocrine disorders).

[00105] Cachexia is often seen in patients with diseases such as cancer, chronic heart failure, renal failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, AIDS, autoimmune disorders, chronic inflammatory disorders, cirrhosis of the liver, anorexia, chronic pancreatitis and/or metabolic acidosis and neurodegenerative disease.

[00106] There are certain types of cancer wherein cachexia is particularly prevalent, for example, pancreas, esophagus, stomach, bowel, lung and/or liver cancer.

[00107] The internationally recognized diagnostic criterion for cachexia is weight loss greater than 5% over a restricted time, for example 6 months, or weight loss greater than 2% in individuals already showing depletion according to current body weight and height (body- mass index [BMI] <20 kg/m 2 ) or skeletal muscle mass (measured by DXA, MRI, CT or bioimpedance). Cachexia can develop progressively through various stages — precachexia to cachexia to refractory cachexia. Severity can be classified according to degree of depletion of energy stores and body protein (BMI) in combination with degree of ongoing weight loss. [00108] In particular, cancer cachexia has been defined as weight loss >5% over past 6 months (in absence of simple starvation); or BMI <20 and any degree of weight loss >2%; or appendicular lean mass consistent with low muscle mass (males <7 26 kg/m 2 ; females <5 -45 kg/m 2 ) and any degree of weight loss >2% (Fearon et al. 2011).

[00109] “Precachexia” may be defined as weight loss <5% together with anorexia and metabolic change. At present there are no robust biomarkers to identify those precachectic patients who are likely to progress further or the rate at which they will do so. Refractory cachexia is defined essentially on the basis of the patient’s clinical characteristics and circumstances.

[00110] The terms “treatment” and “treating” include any effect that results in the improvement of the condition or disorder, for example lessening, reducing, modulating, or eliminating the condition or disorder. The term does not necessarily imply that a subject is treated until total recovery. Non-limiting examples of “treating” or “treatment of’ a condition or disorder include: (1) inhibiting the condition or disorder, i.e., arresting the development of the condition or disorder or its clinical symptoms and (2) relieving the condition or disorder, i.e., causing the temporary or permanent regression of the condition or disorder or its clinical symptoms. A treatment can be patient- or doctor-related.

[00111] The terms “prevention” or “preventing” mean causing the clinical symptoms of the referenced condition or disorder to not develop in an individual that may be exposed or predisposed to the condition or disorder but does not yet experience or display symptoms of the condition or disorder. The terms “condition” and “disorder” mean any disease, condition, symptom, or indication.

[00112] The relative terms “improved,” “increased,” “enhanced” and the like refer to the effects of the composition comprising both one or more anabolic amino acids and one or more autophagy -inducing compounds relative to a composition without the one or more autophagyinducing compounds or with less of the one or more autophagy-inducing compounds, but otherwise identical.

[00113] The term “autophagy,” as used herein, refers to a catabolic cell mechanism that involves cell degradation of unnecessary or dysfunctional cellular components such as intracellular proteins, protein aggregates, cellular organelles, cell membranes, organelle membranes and other cellular components through the actions of lysosomes. The mechanism of autophagy may include: (i) the formation of a membrane around a targeted region of the cell, separating the contents from the rest of cytoplasm, (ii) the fusion of the resultant vesicle with a lysosome or an endosome and the subsequent degradation of the vesicle contents. The term autophagy may also refer to one of the mechanisms by which a starving cell reallocates nutrients from less necessary to more essential processes.

[00114] In one embodiment, autophagy is a survival pathway wherein non-functional proteins and organelles are degraded in lysosomes for recycling and energy production. For instance, in vitro and animal and human studies indicate that autophagy dysfunction in bone cells is associated with the onset of bone diseases such as osteoporosis. Autophagy has been identified as a critical player in both physiological processes and the onset and progression of bone-related diseases (Pierrefite-Carle, V., Santucci-Darmanin, S., Breuil, V., Camuzard, O. & Carle, G. F. Autophagy in bone: self-eating to stay in balance. Ageing Res Rev. 24(Pt B), 206-217 (2015)). Autophagy controls the energy and chemical homeostasis of each single cell and various tissue types, including bone (Smith, M. & Wilkinson, S. ER homeostasis and autophagy. Essays Biochem. 61, 625-635 (2017)).

[00115] The term “bone diseases,” as used herein, refers to any bone related diseases or any metabolic bone disorders. For example, metabolic bone disorders may include osteoporosis, osteomalacia (adults) and conditions of low bone mineral density or mass, such as fathering growth in children, osteitis fibrosa cystica, Paget's disease of bone, pyramiding (turtles), renal osteodystrophy, and others.

[00116] The term “bone loss,” as used herein, refers to any loss of bone mass due to a condition of abnormally increased bone turnover, for example due to osteoporosis (including postmenopausal osteoporosis, male osteoporosis, glucocorticosteroid induced osteoporosis and juvenile osteoporosis); osteopenia; hormone deficiency (vitamin D deficiency, tnalc and female hypogonadism); hormone excess (hyperprolactinaemia, excess glucocorticoid, hyperthyroidism , hyperparathyroidism); nutritional factors (digestive abnormalities, malabsorption syndromes); Paget's disease; other forms of bone loss due to medication; osteoarthritis; Renal bone disease; inflammatory disorders (Crohn's disease, rheumatoid arthritis); immobilisation; space travel; osteoporosis caused through neoplastic bone marrow disorders; osteogenesis imperfecta; hypophosphatasia; osteoporosis following hormone replacement therapy and genetic disorders and inborn errors of metabolism that cause bone fragility (familial hypophosphatasia. Gaucher’s disease, osteogenesis imperfecta, collagen disorders). Other diseases and disorders that may be treated by the combination of the invention include achondroplasia, cleidocranial dysostosis, enchondromatosis, fibrous dysplasia, hypophosphatemic rickets, Marfan’s syndrome, multiple hereditary exoioses, neurofibromatosis, osteopetrosis, osteopoikilosis, sclerotic lesions, fractures, periodontal disease, pseudoarthrosis, pyogenic osteomyelitis, periodontal disease, anti-epileptic drug induced bone loss, primary and secondary, renal osteodystrophy, infiltrative disorders of bone, oral bone loss, osteonecrosis of the jaw, juvenile Paget's disease, melorheostosis, metabolic bone diseases, mastocytosis, sickle cell anemia/disease, organ transplant related bone loss, kidney transplant related bone loss, systemic lupus erythematosus, ankylosing spondylitis, epilepsyjuvenile arthritides, thalassemia, mucopolysaccharidoses, fabry disease, turner syndrome, Down Syndrome, Klinefelter Syndrome, leprosy, Perthes' Disease, adolescent idiopathic scoliosis, infantile onset multi-system inflammatory disease, Winchester Syndrome, Menkes Disease, Wilson's Disease, ischemic bone disease (such as Legg-Calve-Perthes disease, regional migratory osteoporosis), anemic states, heparin- induccd bone loss, bone marrow disorders, scurvy, malnutrition, calcium deficiency, idiopathic osteopenia ox osteoporosis congenital osteopenia or osteoporosis alcoholism chrome liver disease, postmenopausal state, chronic inflammatory conditions, rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, ulcerative colitis, inflammatory colitis, oligomenorrhea, amenorrhea, pregnancy, diabetes mellitus, Cushing's disease, acromegaly, hypogonadism, reflex sympathetic dystrophy syndrome, regional osteoporosis, osteomalacia, bone loss associated with joint replacement, HIV associated bone loss, bone loss associated with loss of growth hormone, bone loss associated with cystic fibrosis, fibrous dysplasia, chemotherapy associated bone loss, tumor induced bone loss, cancer-related bone loss, hormone ablative bone loss, multiple myeloma, anorexia nervosa, disease associated facial bone loss, disease associated cranial bone loss, disease associated bone loss of the jaw and disease associated bone loss of the skull. Further conditions relate to bone loss associated with aging, including facial bone loss associated with aging, cranial bone loss associated with aging, jaw bone loss associated with aging, and skull bone loss associated with aging.

[00117] In one embodiment, one can measure bone density or bone mineral density (BMD) to monitor bone loss or efficacy of any treatment of bone loss.

[00118] The term “bone density,” or “bone mineral density,” or “BMD,” as used herein, refers to the amount of bone mineral in bone tissue. Bone density measurement may be used in clinical medicine as an indirect indicator of osteoporosis and fracture risk. The test results of BMD may be reported in three different terms: 1) measured areal density in g cm 2 ; 2) Z- score: the number of standard deviations above or below the mean for the patient's age, sex and ethnicity; or 3) T-score: the number of standard deviations above or below the mean for a healthy 30-year-old adult of the same sex and ethnicity as the patient. Many non-invasive tests may be used to measure BMD. The exemplary tests may include Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA or DEXA); Dual X-ray Absorptiometry and Laser (DXL); Quantitative computed tomography (QCT); Quantitative ultrasound (QUS); Single photon absorptiometry (SPA); Dual photon absorptiometry (DPA); Digital X-ray radiogrammetry (DXR); and Single energy X-ray absorptiometry (SEXA). DXA is currently the most widely used, but quantitative ultrasound (QUS) has been described as a more cost-effective approach to measure bone density.

[00119] The terms “bone mineralization” and “bone mass accretion” are being used interchangeably within this application. Thus within the specification or claims, they should be considered as synonyms. “Bone mineralization” should also be considered synonymous with increasing, enhancing or improving “bone strength”, “bone mineral density”, “bone mineral content”, “bone mass”, “bone accretion”, etc.

[00120] The term “autophagy-inducing agent,” “autophagy-inducer,” or “autophagyenhancer,” as used herein, refers to any agent or compound that can increase or stimulate autophagy in a cell by any pathway.

[00121] The term “anabolic amino acids,” as used herein, refers to amino acids that do not induce autophagy in the present composition. Non-limiting examples of suitable anabolic amino acids may include Leucine, Isoleucine, Arginine, Glutamine, Citrulline and mixtures thereof. Preferably, the anabolic amino acids may comprise Leucine and Isoleucine.

[00122] The term “branched-chain amino acids” or “BCAAs,” as used herein, refers to a group of three essential amino acids: Leucine, Isoleucine and Valine.

[00123] The term “precursor,” or “precursors,” as used herein, refers to a compound or substance (or compounds or substances) that can produce the autophagy -inducing agent.

[00124] The terms “food,” “food product” and “food composition” mean a product or composition that is intended for ingestion by an individual such as a human and provides at least one nutrient to the individual. The compositions of the present disclosure, including the many embodiments described herein, can comprise, consist of, or consist essentially of the essential elements and limitations described herein, as well as any additional or optional ingredients, components, or limitations described herein or otherwise useful in a diet.

[00125] As used herein, “complete nutrition” contains sufficient types and levels of macronutrients (protein, fats and carbohydrates) and micronutrients to be sufficient to be a sole source of nutrition for the animal to which the composition is administered. Individuals can receive 100% of their nutritional requirements from such complete nutritional compositions.

[00126] As used herein, the term “critically ill patient” is an individual experiencing an acute life-threatening episode or diagnosed to be in imminent danger of such an episode. A critically ill patient is medically unstable and, when not treated, likely to die (e.g., > 50% chance of death).

[00127] Non-limiting examples of critically ill patients include a patient who has sustained or is at risk of sustaining acutely life-threatening single or multiple organ system failure due to disease or injury, a patient who is being operated upon and where complications supervene, and a patient who has a vital organ operated upon within the last week or who has been subject to major surgery within the last week.

[00128] More specific non-limiting examples of a critically ill patient include a patient who has sustained or is at risk of sustaining acutely life-threatening single or multiple organ system failure due to disease or injury and a patient who is being operated upon and where complications supervene. Additional specific non-limiting examples of a critically ill patient include a patient in need of one or more of cardiac surgery, cerebral surgery, thoracic surgery, abdominal surgery, vascular surgery, or transplantation; and a patient suffering from one or more of a neurological disease, cerebral trauma, respiratory insufficiency, abdominal peritonitis, multiple trauma, a severe burn, or critical illness polyneuropathy.

[00129] The term “Intensive Care Unit” (ICU) refers to the part of a hospital where critically ill patients are treated. The term “Intensive Care Unit” also covers a nursing home; a clinic, for example, a private clinic; or the like if the treatment activities performed there are the same or similar as those of an ICU. An “ICU patient” is encompassed by the term “critically ill patient.”

[00130] The term “multiple organ dysfunction” refers to a condition resulting from infection, hypoperfusion, hypermetabolism or injury such as accident or surgery. The “multiple organ failure” of which critically ill patients die is considered a descriptive clinical syndrome defined by a dysfunction or failure of at least two vital organ systems. The vital organ systems that are uniformly and most specifically affected are the liver, the kidneys, the lungs, as well as the cardiovascular system, the nervous system and the hematological system. Non-limiting examples of multiple organ dysfunction include acute respiratory distress syndrome, heart failure, liver failure, renal failure, respiratory insufficiency, intensive care, shock, extensive burns, sepsis (e.g., systemic inflammatory response syndrome) and stroke. [00131] The term “enterally administering” encompasses oral administration (including oral gavage administration), as well as rectal administration, although oral administration is preferred. The term "parenterally administering" refers to delivery of substances given by routes other than the digestive tract and covers administration routes such as intravenous, intra-arterial, intramuscular, intracerebroventricular, intraosseous, intradermal, intrathecal, and also intraperitoneal administration, intravesical infusion and intracavernosal injection.

[00132] Preferred parenteral administration is intravenous administration. A particular form of parenteral administration is delivery by intravenous administration of nutrition. Parenteral nutrition is “total parenteral nutrition” when no food is given by other routes. “Parenteral nutrition” is preferably a isotonic or hypertonic aqueous solution (or solid compositions to be dissolved, or liquid concentrates to be diluted to obtain an isotonic or hypertonic solution) comprising a saccharide such as glucose and further comprising one or more of lipids, amino acids, and vitamins.

[00133] Embodiments

[00134] An aspect of the present disclosure is a method of preventing or treating bone loss, enhancing or improving bone mineralization, enhancing or improving bone strength, enhancing or improving bone mineral density and/or enhancing or improving bone mineral density in an individual in need thereof. The method comprises administering to the individual a composition comprising the one or more anabolic amino acids, the composition further comprising one or more autophagy -inducing agents in an amount effective for the composition to be at least neutral regarding autophagy and preferably positive regarding autophagy, for example in bone. The composition can be administered parenterally, enterally, or intravenously.

[00135] As used herein, “potentiating musculoskeletal effect” means (i) the positive (anabolic) effects of the one or more anabolic amino acids are greater than if the one or more autophagy-inducing compounds were completely absent or present in a lower amount in an otherwise identically formulated composition and/or (ii) the positive (anabolic) effects of the one or more anabolic amino acids last longer than if the one or more autophagy-inducing compounds were completely absent or present in a lower amount in an otherwise identically formulated composition.

[00136] Non-limiting examples of suitable anabolic amino acids include Leucine, Isoleucine, Arginine, Glutamine, Citrulline and mixtures thereof. The composition can comprise one or more of Leucine, Isoleucine or Arginine, in free form and/or bound as peptides and/or proteins such as dairy, animal or plant proteins. Preferably any Leucine or Arginine is present in the composition in an amount effective to activate mTOR. A daily dose of the composition can include one or more of 0.175-142.85 mg/kg bw Leucine, preferably 0.35-71.425 mg/kg bw Leucine; 0.175-71.425 mg/kg bw Isoleucine; 20-300 mg/kg bw Arginine, preferably 50-200 mg/kg bw Arginine and/or 20-300 mg/kg bw Citrulline, preferably 100-200 mg/kg bw Citrulline. The daily dose of the one or more anabolic amino acids can be provided by one or more servings of the composition per day.

[00137] Non-limiting examples of suitable autophagy-inducing compounds include thymol, carvacrol, spermidine, urolithin (e.g., Urolithin A, B or D), rapamycin, Torinl, valproic acid, polyphenols (e.g., resveratrol), caffeine, metformin, 5' AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) activators, L-type calcium channel inhibitors, ketones (e.g., betahydroxybutyrate, ketone salts, or ketone ester derivatives), 4,4’ -dimethoxy chaicone and mixtures thereof. Non-limiting examples of suitable forms of spermidine include spermidine trihydrochloride, spermidine phosphate hexahydrate, spermidine phosphate hexahydrate, and L-arginyl-3,4-spermidine.

[00138] The composition comprises the one or more autophagy-inducing compoundsin an amount effective for the composition to be at least neutral regarding autophagy and preferably positive regarding autophagy despite any negative effect on autophagy from the one or more anabolic amino acids.

[00139] The composition can comprise a pharmacologically effective amount of the autophagy inducer in a pharmaceutically suitable carrier. In aqueous liquid compositions, concentration preferably ranges from about 0.05 wt.% to about 4 wt.%, or from about 0.5 wt.% to about 2 wt.% or from about 1.0 wt.% to about 1.5 wt.% of the aqueous liquid composition.

[00140] In particular embodiments, the method is a treatment that augments the plasma autophagy inducerlevel in an individual, for example to a level in the range of 50 to 6000 nmol/L plasma, preferably 100 to 6000 nmol/L plasma. The method can comprise administering daily the autophagy inducer in the weight range of 0.05 mg - 1 g per kg body weight, preferably 1 mg -200 mg per kg body weight, more preferably 5 mg - 150 mg per kg body weight, even more preferably 10 mg - 120 mg per kg body weight, or most preferably 40 mg - 80 mg per kg body weight.

[00141] Typically between 50 pg to 10 g of autophagy inducer , per daily serving in one or more portions is administered to an individual.

[00142] Thymol (10-64%) is one of the major constituent of essential oils of thyme (Thymus vulgaris L., Lamiaceae). Carvacrol is present in the essential oil of Origanum vulgare (oregano), oil of thyme, oil obtained from pepperwort, and wild bergamot. The essential oil of thyme subspecies contains between 5% and 75% of carvacrol, while Satureja (savory) subspecies have a content between 1% and 45%. Origanum majorana (marjoram) and Dittany of Crete are rich in carvacrol, 50% and 60-80% respectively. Therefore, some embodiments of the composition comprise such plant and/or enriched plant extracts, essential oils or fractions that provide at least a portion of thymol and/ carvacrol in the composition, in particular from thyme and oregano.

[00143] Wheat germ is rich in spermidine. Therefore, some embodiments of the composition comprise wheat germ and/or enriched wheat germ extracts that provide at least a portion of the autophagy inducer in the composition.

[00144] Whey protein is rich in BCAAs such as Leucine and Isoleucine. Therefore, some embodiments of the composition comprise whey protein that provides at least a portion of the anabolic amino acids in the composition.

[00145] The composition can induce autophagy in muscle, for example a skeletal muscle. Non-limiting examples of such muscle include one or more of the following: vastus lateralis, gastrocnemius, tibialis, soleus, extensor, digitorum longus (EDL), biceps femoris, semitendinosus, semimembranosus, gluteus maximus, extra-ocular muscles, face muscles or diaphragm.

[00146] The individual in need of induced autophagy can be an ageing individual, such as an ageing animal or an ageing human. In some embodiments, the individual in need of induced autophagy is an elderly animal or an elderly human.

[00147] The composition can induce autophagy in bone. For example, the inventors surprisingly found that the composition of the present invention can prevent or treat bone loss, enhance or improve bone mineralization, enhance or improve bone strength, enhance or improve bone mineral density and/or enhance or improve bone mineral density in an individual in need thereof. [00148] For example, FIG.6b and Examples demonstrated the synergistic effect of the compositions of the present invention on improving or enhancing bone strength and bone mineral density in the subjects. FIG. 6b and Examples demonstrated the significant effect of the compositions of the present invention on improving or enhancing bone strength and bone mineral density in the subjects.

[00149] In some embodiments, individual in need of induced autophagy has at least one bone-related disorder selected from the group consisting of osteoporosis, osteomalacia (adults), conditions of low bone mineral density or mass, such as fathering growth in children), osteitis fibrosa cystica, Paget's disease of bone, pyramiding (turtles), and renal osteodystrophy.

[00150] In some embodiments, individual in need of induced autophagy suffers a bone loss due to a condition of abnormally increased bone turnover, for example due to osteoporosis (including postmenopausal osteoporosis, male osteoporosis, glucocorticosteroid induced osteoporosis and juvenile osteoporosis); osteopenia; hormone deficiency (vitamin D deficiency, tnalc and female hypogonadism); hormone excess (hyperprolactinaemia, excess glucocorticoid, hyperthyroidism , hyperparathyroidism); nutritional factors (digestive abnormalities, malabsorption syndromes); Paget's disease; other forms of bone loss due to medication; osteoarthritis; Renal bone disease; inflammatory disorders (Crohn's disease, rheumatoid arthritis); immobilisation; space travel; osteoporosis caused through neoplastic bone marrow disorders; osteogenesis imperfecta; hypophosphatasia; osteoporosis following hormone replacement therapy and genetic disorders and inborn errors of metabolism that cause bone fragility (familial hypophosphatasia. Gaucher’s disease, osteogenesis imperfecta, collagen disorders).

[00151] The individual in need of induced autophagy can be a critically ill patient. In various embodiments, the method can treat or prevent multiple organ dysfunction in the critically ill patient, e.g., if the patient has failed or disturbed homeostasis from receiving parenteral nutrition; can protect the critically ill patient against multiple organ dysfunction; can treat or prevent development of lactic acidosis, for example lactic acidosis induced by parenteral nutrition; can treat or prevent muscle weakening in the critically ill patient; can decrease or prevent morbidity or mortality nutrition aggravated by parenteral nutrition; and/or can prevent body system collapse.

[00152] In some embodiments, the critically ill patient has at least one life threatening condition selected from the group consisting of lactic acidosis, muscle weakening, hyperglycemia, multiple organ failure, failed homeostasis, and disturbed homeostasis. In an embodiment, the critically ill patient has a bone disease or a bone-related disorder. In an embodiment, the critically ill patient has a bone disease or a bone-related disorder selected from the group consisting of osteoporosis, osteomalacia (adults), conditions of low bone mineral density or mass, such as fathering growth in children, osteitis fibrosa cystica, Paget's disease of bone, pyramiding (turtles), and renal osteodystrophy. In an embodiment, the critically ill patient has a non-infectious disorder. In an embodiment, the critically ill patient has multiple organ dysfunction that is not caused or associated with sepsis. Multiple organ dysfunction and muscle weakness are common in the critical care setting and can be caused or aggravated by unbalanced parenteral nutrient delivery or a parenterally delivered relative or absolute nutrient overload.

[00153] In some embodiments, the critically ill patient has at least one disorder selected from the group consisting of severe trauma, multiple trauma, high risk surgery, extensive surgery, cerebral trauma, cerebral bleeding, respiratory insufficiency, abdominal peritonitis, acute kidney injury, acute liver injury, severe bums, critical illness polyneuropathy, critical illness myopathy, and ICU-acquired muscle weakness.

[00154] In some embodiments, the critically ill patient is receiving enteral or parenteral nutrition. In some embodiments, the composition treats or prevents mitochondrial dysfunction, for example mitochondrial dysfunction induced by inadequate or unbalanced parenteral nutrition to a critically ill patient.

[00155] In another aspect of the present disclosure, a method overcomes one or more negative effects of one or more anabolic amino acids by preventing degenerative processes related to loss of autophagy. The method comprises administering to an individual a composition comprising the one or more anabolic amino acids, the composition further comprising one or more autophagy-inducing compounds, such as thymol, carvacrol spermidine, urolithin (e.g., Urolithin A, B or D), rapamycin, Torinl, valproic acid, polyphenols (e.g., resveratrol), caffeine, metformin, 5' AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) activators, L-type calcium channel inhibitors, ketones (e.g., beta-hydroxybutyrate, ketone salts, or ketone ester derivatives), 4,4’ -dimethoxy chaicone and mixtures thereof, in an amount effective for the composition to be at least neutral regarding autophagy and preferably positive regarding autophagy, for example in bone.

[00156] The term “protein” as used herein includes free form amino acids, molecules between 2 and 20 amino acids (referenced herein as “peptides”), and also includes longer chains of amino acids as well. Small peptides, i.e., chains of 2 to 10 amino acids, are suitable for the composition alone or in combination with other proteins. The “free form” of an amino acid is the monomeric form of the amino acid. Suitable amino acids include both natural and non-natural amino acids. The composition can comprise a mixture of one or more types of protein, for example one or more (i) peptides, (ii) longer chains of amino acids, or (iii) free form amino acids; and the mixture is preferably formulated to achieve a desired amino acid profile/content.

[00157] The composition can comprise a protein that provides at least a portion of the one or more anabolic amino acids and/or at least a portion of the one or more autophagy-inducing compounds, and at least a portion of the protein can be from animal or plant origin, for example dairy protein such as one or more of milk protein, e.g., milk protein concentrate or milk protein isolate; caseinates or casein, e.g., micellar casein concentrate or micellar casein isolate; or whey protein, e.g., whey protein concentrate or whey protein isolate. Additionally or alternatively, at least a portion of the protein can be plant protein such as one or more of soy protein or pea protein.

[00158] Mixtures of these proteins are also suitable, for example mixtures in which casein is the majority of the protein but not the entirety, mixtures in which whey protein is the majority of the protein but not the entirety, mixtures in which pea protein is the majority of the protein but not the entirety, and mixtures in which soy protein is the majority of the protein but not the entirety. In an embodiment, at least 10 wt.% of the protein is whey protein, preferably at least 20 wt.%, and more preferably at least 30 wt.%. In an embodiment, at least 10 wt.% of the protein is casein, preferably at least 20 wt.%, and more preferably at least 30 wt.%. In an embodiment, at least 10 wt.% of the protein is plant protein, preferably at least 20 wt.%, more preferably at least 30 wt.%.

[00159] Whey protein may be any whey protein, for example selected from the group consisting of whey protein concentrates, whey protein isolates, whey protein micelles, whey protein hydrolysates, acid whey, sweet whey, modified sweet whey (sweet whey from which the caseino-glycomacropeptide has been removed), a fraction of whey protein, and any combination thereof.

[00160] Casein may be obtained from any mammal but is preferably obtained from cow milk and preferably as micellar casein.

[00161] The protein may be unhydrolyzed, partially hydrolyzed (i.e., peptides of molecular weight 3 kDa to 10 kDa with an average molecular weight less than 5 kDa) or extensively hydrolyzed (i.e., peptides of which 90% have a molecular weight less than 3 kDa), for example in a range of 5% to 95% hydrolyzed. In some embodiments, the peptide profile of hydrolyzed protein can be within a range of distinct molecular weights. For example, the majority of peptides (>50 molar percent or > 50 wt.%) can have a molecular weight within 1- 5 kDa, or 5-10 kDa, or 10-20 kDa.

[00162] In an embodiment, the composition includes a source of carbohydrates. Any suitable carbohydrate may be used in the composition including, but not limited to, starch (e.g., modified starch, amylose starch, tapioca starch, corn starch), sucrose, lactose, glucose, fructose, corn syrup solids, maltodextrin, xylitol, sorbitol or combinations thereof.

[00163] The source of carbohydrates is preferably not greater than 50 energy % of the composition, more preferably not greater than 36 energy % of the composition, and most preferably not greater than 30 energy % of the composition.

[00164] In an embodiment, the composition includes a source of fat. The source of fat may include any suitable fat or fat mixture. Non-limiting examples of suitable fat sources include vegetable fat, such as olive oil, corn oil, sunflower oil, high-oleic sunflower, rapeseed oil, canola oil, hazelnut oil, soy oil, palm oil, coconut oil, blackcurrant seed oil, borage oil, lecithins, and the like, animal fats such as milk fat; or combinations thereof.

[00165] The composition can be administered to an individual such as a human, e.g., an ageing individual or a critically ill individual, in a therapeutically effective dose. The therapeutically effective dose can be determined by the person skilled in the art and will depend on a number of factors known to those of skill in the art, such as the severity of the condition and the weight and general state of the individual.

[00166] The composition is preferably administered to the individual at least two days per week, more preferably at least three days per week, most preferably all seven days of the week; for at least one week, at least one month, at least two months, at least three months, at least six months, or even longer. In some embodiments, the composition is administered to the individual consecutively for a number of days, for example at least until a therapeutic effect is achieved. In an embodiment, the composition can be administered to the individual daily for at least 30, 60 or 90 consecutive days.

[00167] The above examples of administration do not require continuous daily administration with no interruptions. Instead, there may be some short breaks in the administration, such as a break of two to four days during the period of administration. The ideal duration of the administration of the composition can be determined by those of skill in the art.

[00168] In a preferred embodiment, the composition is administered to the individual orally or enterally (e.g. tube feeding). For example, the composition can be administered to the individual as a beverage, a capsule, a tablet, a powder or a suspension.

[00169] The composition can be any kind of composition that is suitable for human and/or animal consumption. For example, the composition may be selected from the group consisting of food compositions, dietary supplements, nutritional compositions, nutraceuticals, powdered nutritional products to be reconstituted in water or milk before consumption, food additives, medicaments, beverages and drinks. In an embodiment, the composition is an oral nutritional supplement (ONS), a complete nutritional formula, a pharmaceutical, a medical or a food product. In a preferred embodiment, the composition is administered to the individual as a beverage. The composition may be stored in a sachet as a powder and then suspended in a liquid such as water for use.

[00170] In some instances where oral or enteral administration is not possible or not advised, the composition may also be administered parenterally.

[00171] In some embodiments, the composition is administered to the individual in a single dosage form, i.e. all compounds are present in one product to be given to an individual in combination with a meal. In other embodiments, the composition is co-administered in separate dosage forms, for example at least one component separately from one or more of the other components of the composition.

[00172] EXAMPLES

[00173] The following non-limiting examples present scientific data developing and supporting the concept of administering a composition comprising one or more anabolic amino acids, the composition further comprising one or more autophagy-inducing agents and/or one or more autophagy-inducing amino acids in an amount effective for the composition to be at least neutral regarding autophagy and preferably positive regarding autophagy, despite any negative effect on autophagy from the one or more anabolic amino acids, to thereby induce autophagy in an individual in need thereof.

[00174] Example 1

[00175] EXPERIMENTAL PROTOCOL [00176] Azebrafish autophagy reporter has been generated by stable expression of the LC3 protein fused to ZsGreen under the control of a skeletal muscle specific promoter. Larvae from outcrossed transgenic zebrafish have been raised at 28°C under standard laboratory conditions and have been treated at 48h post-fertilization in 96 well plates with the indicated amino acids at concentrations ranging from 0,25 to lOmM (n=24). After 16 hours of treatment larvae were anesthetized with 0.016% tricaine and imaged with ImageXpress confocal system at 20X magnification (Molecular Devices). Z stack images were captured for each larva and maximal projection images were produced. Number of LC3 punctae have been calculated with MetaXpress software (Moleculare Devices) and normalized by fish area.

[00177] FIGS. 1-3 show the experimental results.

[00178] Example 2

[00179] Materials and methods

[00180] Old mice are a good model to assess the effect of nutritional intervention in age-related decline. With this model, it can be observed as in human a decrease in muscle function with age. In this model, 20 months-old mice were fed for 3 months either with a normal diet or with the same diet supplemented with a specific amino acids mix (AAs) (see Table 1). The AAs mix dosage was 1.65mg/kg BW/day.

[00181] Table 1

[00182] In order to assess the effect of aging, adult mice (6 months old) were also fed for 3 months with a normal diet. The age related loss of in vivo force frequency response measured with a 305C muscle lever system. FIG. 4, shows the effect of specific amino acid mix (AAs) on force frequency response in old rats (Aged) and the comparison with adult mice fed with a normal diet, said force frequency response was significantly improved with AAs supplementation suggesting an improvement in muscle function.

[00183] Example 3

[00184] Assessment of the long term (3 months) effect of thymol (an exemplary autophagy -inducing agent) and an amino acid mix, known as autophagy inducers, alone or in combination, on muscle function in old mice.

[00185] As shown in FIG. 5, young mice (24-26 weeks old; n=12/group; controls) were taking the control diet with alanine for isonitrogenous. Old mice (78 weeks old; n=12/group; inventions) were taking 1) thymol (compound 1); 2) an amino acid (AA) mix and thymol (compounds 2 and 1); or 3) the AA mix (compound 2). In the experiments, thymol was given by gavage; the AA mix was given in water; and alanine for isonitrogenous was given as a control to young mice (Adult). Old untreated mice were also used as another control (old untreated).

[00186] The AA mix comprises 28.67% of Leucine, 14.29% of Isoleucine, 14.29% of Valine, 12.21% of Proline, 12.21% of Glycine, 14.84% of Lysine and 3.48% of Cysteine (See Table 1).

[00187] FIG. 6a showed the unexpected results of the claimed invention on improving or enhancing bone mineral density (BMD) in the subjects.

[00188] For example, as shown in FIG. 6a, the old untreated subjects showed much less bone mineral density as compared with the control of Adult fed with alanine for isonitrogenous. The mice that were fed with the thymol (compound 1; old thymol) unexpectedly showed an increasing bone mineral density as compared with the controls of Adult and old untreated. Specifically, the mice that were fed with the thymol (compound 1; old thymol) unexpectedly showed a 1.6% of increase in bone mineral density as compared with the control of the old untreated.

[00189] As shown in FIG. 6a, the mice that were fed with the AA mix (compound 2; old AA) unexpectedly showed an increased bone mineral density as compared with the controls of Adult and old untreated. Specifically, the mice that were fed with the AA mix (compound 2; old AA) unexpectedly showed a 0.8% of increase in bone mineral density as compared with the control of the old untreated.

[00190] Further, as shown in FIG. 6a, the mice fed with both amino acid (AA) mix and thymol (compounds 2 and 1) unexpectedly showed a higher level of increase in bone mineral density as compared with the controls of Adult and old untreated. Specifically, the mice that were fed with both amino acid (AA) mix and thymol (compounds 2 and 1) showed a 2.5% of increase in bone mineral density as compared with the control of the old untreated.

[00191] Thus, an exemplary combination of the amino acid (AA) mix and thymol of the claimed invention showed an additional effect of both the amino acid (AA) mix and thymol regarding bone mineral density.

[00192] FIG. 6b showed the unexpected results of synergistic effect of the claimed invention on improving or enhancing bone strength and bone mineral density in the subjects. [00193] For example, as shown in FIG. 6b, the old untreated subjects (Old untreated) showed much less bone stiffness as compared with the control of Adult fed with alanine for isonitrogenous (Adult).

[00194] Further as shown in FIG. 6b, the mice that were fed with the thymol (old thymol) unexpectedly showed an increasing bone stiffness as compared with the control of the old untreated (Old untreated). Specifically, the mice that were fed with the thymol (compound 1; old thymol) unexpectedly showed a 12% of increase in bone stiffness as compared with the control of the old untreated (Old untreated).

[00195] In contrast, the mice that were fed with the AA mix (compound 2; old AA) did show any increase in bone stiffness as compared with the control of the old untreated (Old untreated).

[00196] Unexpectedly, as shown in FIG. 6b, the mice fed with both amino acid (AA) mix and thymol (compounds 2 and 1) showed a much higher level of increase in bone stiffness as compared with the controls of Adult (Adult) and the old untreated subjects (Old untreated). Specifically, the mice that were fed with both amino acid (AA) mix and thymol (compounds 2 and 1) showed a 20% of increase in bone stiffness as compared with the control of the old untreated (Old untreated).

[00197] Thus, the experimental results of FIG. 6b showed a synergistic effect of amino acid (AA) mix and thymol (compounds 2 and 1).

[00198] It should be understood that various changes and modifications to the presently preferred embodiments described herein will be apparent to those skilled in the art. Such changes and modifications can be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the present subject matter and without diminishing its intended advantages. It is therefore intended that such changes and modifications be covered by the appended claims.