Nutrition and Sarcopenia-What Do We Know?

A. Ganapathy, J.W. Nieves

Nutrients. 2020 Jun 11;12(6):E1755.doi: 10.3390/nu12061755.

Muscle health is important for the functionality and independence of older adults, and certain nutrients as well as dietary patterns have been shown to offer protective effects against declines in strength and function associated with aging. In this paper, micronutrients, macronutrients, and food groups have been reviewed, along with their studied effects on the prevalence and incidence of sarcopenia, as well as their ability to preserve muscle mass and optimize physical performance. Randomized controlled trials appear to suggest a critical role for dietary intake of protein in preventing sarcopenia and muscle loss, although the optimal dose and type of protein is unknown. There are some promising data regarding the role of vitamin D and sarcopenia, but it is unclear whether the dose, frequency of dose, or length of treatment impacts the efficacy of vitamin D on improving muscle mass or function. Selenium, magnesium, and omega 3 fatty acids have been studied as supplements in clinical trials and in the diet, and they appear to demonstrate a potential association with physical activity and muscle performance in older individuals.  


Comment:   Following the Mediterranean diet and higher consumption of fruits and vegetables have been associated with improved physical performance and protection against muscle wasting, sarcopenia, and frailty.