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Wien Med Wochenschr. 2011 Sep;161(17-18):409-15. doi: 10.1007/s10354-011-0910-x. Epub 2011 Jul 29.

The role of nutrition in the prevention of sarcopenia.

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  • 1Institute for Biomedicine of Aging, University of Erlangen-Nürnberg, Nürnberg, Germany.


Nutrition is regarded as one important contributing factors in the complex etiology of sarcopenia. Associations between several nutritional factors and muscle mass, strength, function and physical performance were reported in a growing number of studies in recent years. Accordingly, the avoidance of weight loss is crucial to prevent the concomitant loss of muscle mass. Adequate amounts of high-quality protein are important for optimal stimulation of muscle protein synthesis. Vitamin D, antioxidants and ω 3-polyunsaturated fatty acids may also contribute to the preservation of muscle function. In order to ensure adequate intake in all elderly, nutritional problems like loss of appetite and weight loss should be recognized early by routine screening for malnutrition in the elderly. Underlying causes need to be identified and subsequently corrected. The importance of physical activity, specifically resistance training, is emphasized, not only in order to facilitate muscle protein anabolism but also to increase energy expenditure, appetite and food intake in elderly people at risk of malnutrition.

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