Sarcopenia: Nutrition and Diet

Sarcopenia: Nutrition and Diet


What is sarcopenia?

La sarcopenia is a particular form of muscle loss (atrophy) due toaging and / or to a reduction of movement general physicist - up toimmobility.

Note: sarcopenia DON'T It is synonymous with cachessia - look down.

Sarcopenia is an uncomfortable condition of great concern geriatric. Being one potential cause di disability in 'elderly, significantly affects the reduction area of quality and dell 'expectation di "vita".

It is considered an important component of the so-called frailty syndrome, or a typically geriatric disease that embodies thehigh risk di decline functional in old age.

What does sarcopenia consist of?

Il decay muscle tissue of sarcopenia is typically progressive e degenerative, no compromises la quality di composition-structure, and is associated with an inexorable decline in capacity di force.

Predisposing factors and pathological mechanism

The rate of sarcopenic muscle loss it depends from level di exercise physical, from any comorbilità, From 'supply / diet e others factors.

This degeneration would be mainly attributable to the loss of the ability to "rebuild il muscle" following "normal wear"- due to specific changes in life di signal area of synthesis muscular.

It is precisely the recognition of this mechanism that allows the distinction between sarcopenia and cachessia, an apparently similar disease but in which the loss of muscle trophism occurs for different causes - the diseases are involved cytokines, mediators inflammatory.

Note: in some cases, sarcopenia and cachexia can coexist within the same clinical picture.

Did you know that…

The term "sarcopenia" comes from the Greek flesh o sarx, or "meat", and penury o penia, that is "poverty"; the noun was first proposed by Rosenberg in 1989.

Role of Nutrition

Nutrition as a cause of sarcopenia

Le potential causes of sarcopenia are many and almost always co-present-interacting. This is a condition still partially unknown, even if they are recognized as primary factors involved:

  • Hormonal changes;
  • Immobility or very little mobility;
  • Age-related muscle changes
  • Nutrition;
  • Neurodegenerative changes.

In addition to limited exercise - or worse still, immobility - and any pathologies or non-physiological conditions (e.g. organ failure, surgery, etc.), the rate of muscle loss is increased notably from the reduced nutrient intake.

Epidemiological research indicates that, on the health to the muscles, L 'influence to the factors environmental He can have effects also to long term. For example, a bass weight to the birth is a risk factor associated with reduced muscle mass and strength in the adult life.

Here is where the power takes on a dual role in the fight against sarcopenia, in prevention (since gestation) as much as in the nucleoside (in old age). In order to avoid this morbid condition, it is not possible however to examine the entire cycle of human life; nutrition during pregnancy and then that of the baby remain the responsibility of the mother. However, from adulthood to the third age, it is possible to intervene on own nutrition both in preventive and curative terms; it goes without saying that a possible decline in cognitive functions (senile dementia, Alzheimer's disease) would again deprive us of this responsibility.

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Dieta Sarcopenia

Role of diet in sarcopenia therapy

In dietary terms, in therapy against sarcopenia it is essential to fundamentally treat two elements:

  • Contribution of essential amino acids (AAE), or those that the organism is not capable of producing autonomously;
  • Contribution caloric (kcal).

Essential amino acids against sarcopenia

The contribution of AAE comes often but improperly defined "protein intake". It is true that, after digestion and absorption, proteins are the only nutritional source of amino acids; but it is equally true that amount and proportion of those essential it depends on type of protein taken with food.

Taking only proteins "incomplete", protein synthesis would remain compromised and, with it, the maintenance of muscle mass. Also considering that in the elderly the capacity di absorption it is potentially reduced, even in the absence of pathologies, the choice of protein source, of her portion e frequency di best before date take on a role primary.

The proteins that provide all the essential amino acids in the right quantities and proportions with respect to the human peptide model are called ad "high biological value". Food sources of high biological value protein are origin animal:

  • eggs (poultry);
  • Latte e derivatives (which contain whey proteins and caseins);
  • Beef e products area of fishery (fish, molluscs, crustaceans).

To be honest, it would still be possible to introduce all AAEs thanks to the principle of variety feed. THE'alternation ol 'association di vegetable (soy, lupine, bean, pea, chickpea, lentil, etc.), cereals e pseudocereals (wheat, rice, quinoa, amaranth, corn, etc.), typically adopted by vegans, is proof of this. There are also less known foods but still of good protein "quality", such as seaweed; on the other hand these find little application in the nutrition of the elderly western, for a reason of poor adaptation to food products far from local tradition.

Furthermore, foods of plant origin have a further obstacle to absorption, given by their presence plentiful di fibers and of varying concentrations of inhibitors of the peptidasi - which reduce the function of protein digestive enzymes. Admittedly, proper cooking reduces quasi a zero the concentration of inhibitors, but the fibrous portion remains. The absorption capacity of the digestive system of an elderly person could be affected by these elements, which is why it would be unthinkable to satisfy the need for AAE without consuming at least 1/3 of the protein sources of animal origin.

In light of all this, various researchers have proposed a increase area of recommendation protein minima in old age, corresponding to 1,0-1,2 g / kg of body weight per day - while for the adult, the lower threshold would be 0,8-1,0 g / kg / day.

Unfortunately, however, also for reasons other than those mentioned - such as i problems di chewing, economic difficulties etc - the elderly often struggle to reach an adequate protein intake; in such circumstances, supplements and fortified foods can prove to be of great help.

Dietary supplements and dietary foods rich in AAE against sarcopenia

It is possible in the prevention and treatment of sarcopenia to correct the diet using supplements food and / or foods for special medical purposes. However, we remind you that, above all in presence di diseases (of the stomach, liver, pancreas, kidneys, intestines, etc.), before using it it is advisable to consult your doctor.

Among the supplements we remember the AAE in tablets or drops, and high biological value protein powders such as those based on whey. Protein-rich or fortified foods may find greater use. For example, they are commercially available yogurt to the Greek, latti e of cottage cheese protein. By wisely incorporating these foods into the diet of the elderly, it is possible to exclude the risk factor of protein deficiency.

More specifically, thenutritional approach for sarcopenia it could be differentiated between the preventive phase And that of treatment.

A preventive purpose it is essential first of all to guarantee the customary protein intake - or better than AAE - to insure the right weight and in particular that of lean mass (FFM) - consisting largely of muscles. If, following a dietary review on the part of a professional, if a certain difficulty emerges in reaching the level of AAE or if there is a doubt of a poor basic muscular tropism, it could be highly recommended make use of Dietary Supplements. All, of course, associated with motor training.

In treatment of sarcopenia already diagnosed, on the other hand, ensuring a high biological value protein intake is absolutely imperative. In this regard, studies show that the use of food for special medical purposes, which must be used under medical supervision, constitutes a effective means to fight sarcopenia. In a 13-week intervention during which they were administered supplements a basis of vitamin D e protein of siero of enriched milk evaluation with leucine, they observed improvements in muscle and function of lower limbs of sample research - consisting of sarcopenic elders. This insight shows than nutritional supplementation specific, even in a manner independent, would bring considerable benefits to geriatric patients, above all to those who DON'T are able to to move satisfactorily - as in Parkinson's disease.

In addition to the protein intake, also the mountain energetic total is essential to maintain the stimulus of muscle protein synthesis. While assuming an adequate intake of AAE, if the Calories totals resulted insufficient, the body would start consuming them for the production di energy cellular - via neoglucogenesis in the liver or, in the case of branched amino acids, directly in the muscle.

For this reason, due importance should be given to the diet of the elderly also at the fraction of carbohydrates e grassi, trying to stabilize il weight within the normal range - preferably with a few extra kilograms - and treating the trophism of the muscle mass also throughmotor exercise (specific) of strengthening.


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