Omega-3 fatty acids, whey, and exercise are just three effective ways to fight sarcopenia before it strikes.
A form of muscle loss, sarcopenia is a common condition that affects up to 12% of older people. The progressive skeletal muscle loss mass and strength are linked to an increased risk of physical disability, poor quality of life and death.
Fortunately, there are significant steps you can take to prevent and reverse sarcopenia. Some of its causes are a natural result of aging, but others can be avoided through healthy diet and lifestyle strategies. Quality food with adequate nutritionfor example, may help preserve skeletal muscle regeneration as you age.
Here are five strategies to help fight this condition naturally.
Omega-3 fatty acids are known to stimulate protein anabolism in animals and may benefit sarcopenia. To test this hypothesis, researchers randomly assigned 16 healthy elderly people to receive omega-3 fatty acids or corn oil for eight weeks. The results showed that omega-3s stimulate muscle protein synthesis and may be helpful in preventing and treating sarcopenia.
Omega-3 fatty acids are considered a useful therapeutic agent for the disease due to their anti-inflammatory properties targeting “inflammation”, the chronic age-related low grade. inflammation supposed to contribute to the development of sarcopenia.
A diet rich in pro-inflammatory foods has, in fact, been correlated with a higher risk of sarcopenia, suggesting that an anti-inflammatory diet may be a key to preventing it.
Additionally, omega-3s may also have an anabolic effect on muscles by activating mTOR signaling, which affects dozens of processes including cell growth, proliferation, motility and survival, as well as protein synthesis. Omega-3s can also reduce insulin resistance, which has additional benefits in the face of the diabetes epidemic. Omega-3s may also supplement the effect of exercise or protein supplementation, with the researchers urging further investigation into the exact dosage, frequency, or use of these fats for this purpose.
2. Whey Protein
Protein supplementation is sometimes necessary to maintain skeletal muscle mass, and whey protein is among the best.
In two animal experiments, researchers found that whey protein alleviates induced muscle atrophy by improving net protein content that regulates muscle protein synthesis and breakdown. They called this food a “necessary and likely candidate” for developing functional foods that fight sarcopenia.
Highlighting the combined benefits of therapy and nutritional intervention, separate research has found that, combined with omega-3s, polyphenols and electrical muscle stimulation, whey protein increased muscle strength in older adults with reduced mobility. Combined with Panax Ginseng Berry Extractsoluble whey protein hydrolyzate also improved sarcopenia-related muscle deterioration.
If there’s anything that can help keep our muscles from wasting away, it’s exercise.
Exercise leads to lasting benefits for sarcopenia in heart failure, helping to reduce skeletal muscle wasting in this population. In older men with sarcopenia, tai chi and whole body vibration have also been shown to be effective in improving muscle strength as well as physical performance.
A 2019 review of 331 articles also found that exercise was beneficial for skeletal muscle regeneration, muscle metabolism, and motor function in mice with sarcopenia. “Exercise intervention methods primarily involved the use of treadmills, voluntary wheel running, force wheel running, swimming, and resistance training,” notes the study, published in Journal of Sport and Health Science in 2019.
Diets marked by a high intake of fish, soy products, potatoes, most vegetables, mushrooms, seaweed and fruits, and a low intake of rice, were linked to lower rates of sarcopenia in older Japanese living in the community.
Miso is a fermented dough which is traditionally added to many Japanese dishes. In a cross-sectional study, habitual miso consumption was associated with a low prevalence of sarcopenia in patients with type 2 diabetes. Insulin resistance is considered a risk factor for the condition, which is typically present in people with diabetes type 2.
5. Vitamin D
Studies on vitamin D supplementationincluding a systematic review of 29 studies, offer compelling evidence of increased muscle strength. Vitamin D deficiency is a common health problem around the world, especially among older people. Vitamin D regulates multiple human functions, including skeletal muscle, so the fat-soluble vitamin may be crucial for maintaining and improving muscle strength and physical performance over time.
In a 2012 study, higher visceral fat and lower muscle mass were associated with lower vitamin D3 levels in older Korean men. The results suggest that screening for deficiency may be appropriate in older adults with visceral obesity or sarcopenia.
Explore research on sarcopenia on the GreenMedInfo.com database to learn more about nutritional and natural interventions for this condition.