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J Musculoskelet Neuronal Interact. 2009 Oct-Dec;9(4):186-97.

Changes in muscle mass and strength after menopause.

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Faculty of Physical Education and Sports, University of Sherbrooke, Research Center on Aging, Social Services and Health Centre - University Institute of Geriatrics of Sherbrooke, Sherbrooke, Qu├ębec, Canada.


Menopause is associated with a natural decline in estrogen, that increases visceral fat mass, decreases bone mass density, muscle mass, and strength. This review will examine the role of menopause transition and associated decrease in hormonal status with regards to those changes. We will also overview the efficiency of physical exercise and nutrition on muscle subcharacteristics. Studying changes in muscle mass associated with menopause is important, because of the high number of postmenopausal women in developed countries and the related risk of physical incapacity. Among modifiable factors, low physical activity and protein intakes are the best contributors to sarcopenia and the loss of strength in postmenopausal women. On the other hand, some biological factors, namely oxidative stress, inflammation, estrogen and other hormone deficiency are predictors of these phenomena. Interestingly, some methods have the potential to attenuate the loss of muscle mass and strength such as exercise, and supplement intake.

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