I have written repeatedly about the benefits of exercise on both the body and brain. It turns out that there seems to be a link between loss of muscle mass, sarcopenia, and cognitive decline.
Sarcopenia, the loss of muscle mass, tends to happen naturally with age. So, in older people with sarcopenia, excess body fat may not be readily visible. But hidden fat, paired with muscle mass loss later in life, could predict Alzheimer’s risk, researchers warn.
A recent study — the results of which have been published in the journal Clinical Interventions in Aging — has found that sarcopenia and obesity (independently, but especially when occurring together) can heighten the risk of cognitive function impairments later in life.
The research was conducted by scientists at the Comprehensive Center for Brain Health at the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine of Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton.
“Sarcopenia,” explains senior study author Dr. James Galvin, “has been linked to global cognitive impairment and dysfunction in specific cognitive skills including memory, speed, and executive functions.” Continue reading
Eat less; move more; live longer is the mantra of this blog. I am always thrilled to run across studies that underscore those concepts. This one adds nutritional supplementation for additional benefits.
A study of the combined effect of exercise and nutrition intervention on muscle mass and function in seniors finds that exercise has a positive impact, with some possible additive effect of dietary supplementation.
Although sarcopenia, progressive muscle loss, is a natural part of aging, it is generally identified when muscle mass and muscle function falls below defined thresholds. Sarcopenia’s impact can be enormous as it affects mobility, balance, risk of falls and fractures, and overall ability to perform tasks of daily living. Given the aging of populations worldwide, public health and clinical recommendations to prevent and manage sarcopenia are urgently needed.
The new systematic review ‘Nutrition and Physical Activity in the Prevention and Treatment of Sarcopenia’  summarizes the results of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) assessing the effect of interventions combining physical activity and dietary supplements on muscle mass and muscle function in subjects aged 60 years and older. Continue reading
I remember a short story in high school about a man who happened upon a medical encyclopedia. Reading it, he decided that he was suffering from every malady except housemaid’s knee.
As the ‘one regular guy’ producing this blog, I read a lot on various aspects of living a healthy life. I confess to a temptation to occasionally wander into hypochondria myself.
I recently ran across the term ‘sarcopenia.’ Ever heard of that? It was a new one to me.
Here’s what the Mayo Clinic blog had to say, “It is a simple fact. As we age we lose muscle and strength. There’s even a medical term for this — sarcopenia. It’s derived from the Greek words “sarcos” (flesh) and “penia” (lack of).
“Estimates of how much muscle is lost with age vary from 8 percent to about 50 percent of our muscles. Men seem to lose muscle faster than women. Strength is lost more rapidly than muscle.”
WebMD says, “Physically inactive people can lose as much as 3% to 5% of their muscle mass each decade after age 30. Even if you are active, you’ll still have some muscle loss. Continue reading
The saying goes there are two certainties in life: death and taxes. But men should also add loss of muscle mass to the list.
Age-related muscle loss, called sarcopenia, is a natural part of aging. After age 30, you begin to lose as much as 3% to 5% per decade. Most men will lose about 30% of their muscle mass during their lifetimes.
Less muscle means greater weakness and less mobility, both of which may increase your risk of falls and fractures. A 2015 report from the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research found that people with sarcopenia had 2.3 times the risk of having a low-trauma fracture from a fall, such as a broken hip, collarbone, leg, arm, or wrist.
But just because you lose muscle mass does not mean it is gone forever. “Older men can indeed increase muscle mass lost as a consequence of aging,” says Dr. Thomas W. Storer, director of the exercise physiology and physical function lab at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital. “It takes work, dedication, and a plan, but it is never too late to rebuild muscle and maintain it.”
The hormone factor
One possible contributor to sarcopenia is the natural decline of testosterone, the hormone that stimulates protein synthesis and muscle growth. Think of testosterone as the fuel for your muscle-building fire. Continue reading