Macronutrient composition and sarcopenia in the oldest-old men: The Helsinki Businessmen Study (HBS)

S.K. Jyväkorpi, A. Urtamo, M. Kivimäki, T.E. Strandberg

Clin Nutr. 2020 Apr 24. pii: S0261-5614(20)30195-3. doi: 10.1016/j.clnu.2020.04.024. [Epub ahead of print]

Sarcopenia is associated with increased risk for several adverse health outcomes including frailty, disability, loss of independence, and mortality. We examined cross-sectional associations between sarcopenia and detailed dietary macronutrient composition in community-living oldest-old men (mean age 87).

Participants were invited to a clinic visit in 2017/2018 including assessments of sarcopenia status using European Working Group on Sarcopenia in Older People's 2 (EWGSOP2) criteria and detailed macronutrient, vitamin D and food intakes retrieved from 3-day food diaries.

Of the 126 participants, 48 had probable sarcopenia and 27 sarcopenia. Sarcopenia was associated with lower energy (p = 0.020), total protein (p = 0.019), plant (p = 0.008) and fish proteins (p = 0.041), total fat (p = 0.015), monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) (p = 0.011), polyunsaturated fatty acids (p = 0.002), vitamin D intakes (p = 0.005) and, of fat quality indicators, MUFA: saturated fatty acid-ratio (p = 0.042).  

Comment:   These findings suggest that sufficient energy and protein intakes, but also fat quality may be important along with healthy dietary patterns for prevention of sarcopenia in the oldest-old.