Posted on Sep 03, 2018, 2 p.m.
Aging has been associated with sarcopenia and functional decline leading to frailty and disability in an update on protein, leucine, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamin D in the prevention and treatment of sarcopenia and functional decline study.
Nutrition is a modifiable risk factor that may represent a target for the prevention or for postponing the onset of certain geriatric conditions, with nutrients, high quality protein, vitamin D, leucine, and omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids being of interest due to demonstrated effects on skeletal muscle health.
Recent observational and interventional evidence on associations and roles of these nutrients in muscle mass, strength, mobility, and physical function of older populations that are healthy or at risk of frailty suggest higher protein intake recommendation of 1-1.2 kg/day in healthy older adults evenly distributed per meal, with 800-100 IU of vitamin D supplementation especially among those with low vitamin D status, and 3 g/day of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids to be favorable for physical function, muscle mass, and strength.
The reviewed studies are heterogenous, but the quality, quantity, and timing of intakes should be considered when intervention studies are designed. Combination of leucine, vitamin D, omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, and protein supplements may carry added benefits representing an intervention strategy for the prevention of sarcopenia and functional decline.
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