Sarcopenia is a condition which causes muscle loss and is usually brought on by aging. It affects 10% of all adults over 50 and can significantly affect your quality of life and reduce your longevity as well. Although treatments rarely work, there are a few steps that can be taken to treat and prevent the problem.
The aging process can’t be stopped and causes numerous problems such as muscle loss, but there are a few things you can do to prevent them. Sarcopenia literally means “lack of flesh” and is closely related to muscle degeneration. It commonly affects people over 50 – the average person in this age group loses about 3% of muscle mass each year.
The condition specifically occurs due to the imbalance of signals for teardown and muscle loss, processes known as catabolism and anabolism. When we age, the body becomes resistant to some of these signals, resulting in catabolism dominance and the loss of muscle mass. Here are some factors which accelerate muscle loss:
A sedentary lifestyle
Not using your muscles due to a sedentary lifestyle can lead to accelerated muscle loss and increased weakness, which often occurs after too much resting after injuries and results in accelerated loss of muscle mass. Even 2-3 weeks of muscle inactivity can decrease muscle strength and mass, which is why you need to start moving more.
Eating an unbalanced diet
A low-calorie and low-protein diet can lead to accelerated muscle loss and weight loss as well. This kind of diet is common for elderly individuals due to teeth and gum problems, as well as swallowing difficulties. To prevent this from occurring, you need to eat up to 30 gr. of protein per day.
Inflammation in the body occurs after injuries and illness, when the body tries to repair the damaged tissues. However, chronic inflammation can do a lot of damage – it will cause an imbalance in muscle teardown signals and accelerated muscle loss. According to one study conducted on patients with chronic inflammation caused by obstructive pulmonary disease, the inflammation is the primary cause for muscle loss.
People suffering from chronic liver disease are more prone to sarcopenia. Chronic kidney disease patients have reduced physical activity and stress, which can lead to severe muscle loss.
Here are a few exercises that can prevent the onset of sarcopenia:
Pulling resistance bends and performing other resistance training exercises work great against sarcopenia. The tension in the muscles can result in stronger muscle-boosting signals which will help your muscles develop. According to one study, doing resistance training exercises 3 times a week can strengthen your muscles in only 3 months.
Aerobic and endurance training can prevent the onset of sarcopenia. Several studies have shown that these exercises can prevent muscle loss and are highly effective against sarcopenia.
One Japanese study which involved 227 Japanese people over 65 found out that walking half an hour every day for 6 months can prevent the onset of sarcopenia. The participants walked short distances every day and increased the distance by 10% each month.
Here are 4 nutrients that can fight sarcopenia:
Scientific studies have proven that eating 35 gr. of protein per month can improve muscle growth.
Vitamin D supplementation can boost muscle growth and strength and prevent sarcopenia.
Taking 2 gr. of fish oil supplement every day combined with resistance training has shown that it can boost muscle development and strengthen your muscles.
A combination of creatine and resistance training can boost muscle growth better than any kind of exercise.
Article and image source: besthealthyguide.com/