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JPEN J Parenter Enteral Nutr. 2008 Nov-Dec;32(6):656-9. doi: 10.1177/0148607108324585.

Inflammation: roles in aging and sarcopenia.

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  • 1Department of Nutritional Sciences, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania 16802, USA.


Aging is associated with inflammatory chronic conditions such as obesity, cardiovascular disease, insulin resistance, and arthritis. Sarcopenia-muscle loss with aging-is multifactorial with contributing factors that may include loss of alpha-motor neuron input, changes in anabolic hormones, decreased intake of dietary protein, and decline in physical activity. Research findings suggest that sarcopenia is a smoldering inflammatory state driven by cytokines and oxidative stress. Elevated levels of interleukin-6 and C-reactive protein are often detected. Sarcopenic obesity manifests the added inflammatory burden of adiposity and associated adipokines. Potential interventions for sarcopenia include nutritional supplements, physical activity/resistance exercise, caloric restriction, anabolic hormones, anti-inflammatory agents, and antioxidants. A key question is whether sarcopenia is truly a distinct syndrome or a milder form of a cachexia continuum.

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