Is age Related Atrophy Inevitable?

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Prevent Age-related Atrophy

Sarcopenia .- The loss of skeletal muscle mass that typically occurs as a result of the aging process.

Although this age-related decline in skeletal muscle has been shown to be potentiated by a 30% reduction in myofibrillar protein synthesis (observed in seniors over age 60), new research suggests that sarcopenia might be preventable.

Muscle strength and function in seniors has been shown to increase with resistance training even in those over 90 years of age. Potential preventive measures include resistance training and proper nutrition.

Consumption of high-quality animal protein (vs. vegetable protein) appears to support endogenous protein synthesis and to amplify the benefits of physical training in older adults. Pannemans et al. observed that elderly women consuming diets high in animal protein experience greater net protein synthesis than those consuming diets high in vegetable protein.

Subsequently, Campbell et al. demostrate that men (aged 51-69 years) undergoing resistance training who consumed diets higher in animal protein (compared to those consuming diets higher in vegetable protein) experienced increases in fat-free and whole-body muscle mass and reductions in percent body fat over time, while those consuming diets high in vegetable protein actually lost lean mass and experienced an increase in mean percent body fat.

Sources Cited:

Campbell et al. Am J Clin Nutr 1999; 70:1032-9
Layman et al. J Nutr 2003; 133:411-17