Elderly And Sarcopenia: 3 Nutrients Older People Need To Maintain Muscle Mass
As you age, you begin to lose some of your muscle function and mass. Believe it or not, there is a scientific name for this called sarcopenia. For individuals who are inactive, this loss of muscle mass tends to occur at a faster rate. As a general rule, sarcopenia isn't serious until you hit 75 years of age, although it can begin earlier than this. This disease is often the culprit of many elderly falls and fractures. For that reason, it is important to do what you can to maintain what muscle mass that you can to help reduce any negative side effects of the disease. Here are three nutrients that you may want to try to increase, as research has shown they have a positive impact on fighting against sarcopenia:
1. Vitamin D
Vitamin D has always been known to play a very critical role in an individual's bone health. However, scientific researchers are only recently becoming aware that it is important to an aging individual's muscle mass. According to research, vitamin D has the ability to help preserve certain muscle fibers in the body that are specifically prone to deterioration in the elderly. In fact, the nutrient can support both the muscle as well as the bone tissue. Vitamin D deficiency in the elderly may be linked to poor muscle function and bone formation. For that reason, increasing one's vitamin D intake may help to reduce sarcopenia and osteoporosis in the elderly.
Exercise can be an excellent way to build back muscle mass that has been lost over the years. However, if you're looking for a way to supplement that exercise and optimize your chances of rebuilding muscle mass, then you may want to consider creatine supplements. According to one study, when the elderly takes a creatine supplement while taking part in resistance training, it can increase leg strength, endurance, power, as well as lean tissue mass.
3. Whey Protein
It isn't uncommon for the elderly to find it hard to get enough protein from their meals. This is one reason why some older adults choose to switch over to whey protein in order to meet their daily protein intake needs. One particular study discovered that whey protein has the ability to preserve lean body mass in the elderly, which appears to be thanks to "fast" protein gain due to the fact that whey contains amino acids and makes it one of the highest-quality proteins available.
If you're interested in learning more about age-related muscle mass loss, consider speaking to your doctor or an orthopedic surgeon, such as at Town Center Orthopaedic Associates.