Novel Insights on Intake of Fish and Prevention of Sarcopenia: All Reasons for an Adequate Consumption

M. Rondanelli, C. Rigon, S. Perna, C. Gasparri, G. Iannello, R. Akber, T. Alalwan, A.M. Freije

Nutrients. 2020 Jan 24;12(2). pii: E307. doi: 10.3390/nu12020307.

Sarcopenia is defined as a syndrome characterized by progressive and generalized loss of skeletal muscle mass and strength and it is diagnosed by measurements of muscle mass, muscle strength, and physical performance. Sarcopenia affects quality of life and is associated with several adverse health effects. Muscle decline is aggravated by a sedentary lifestyle and can be prevented through proper nutrition, together with adequate physical activity.

Fish contains biologically active compounds, such as omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, proteins, vitamin D, magnesium, and carnitine, which are able to intervene positively on muscle metabolism. This narrative literature review was performed to evaluate evidence regarding the actual benefit of fish consumption in the prevention of sarcopenia and the positive action on the muscle mass of the biological compounds present in fish.

The results demonstrated that fish consumption has a protective and anti-inflammatory function on skeletal muscle and that its biologically active compounds help to maintain good muscle performance, preventing sarcopenia.

Comment:   Considering the nutritional and health benefits, elderly with sarcopenia should consume at least three servings per week of fish in order to have a minimum intake of 4-4.59 g daily of omega 3, and reaching the 50% RDA in Vitamin E and D. High biological value of proteins in 150 g of fish and its high available magnesium (20% of RDA in 150 g of fish) are an added value that could suggest fish as a "functional food" in order to prevent and treat sarcopenia.