Sarcopenia is a progressive loss of skeletal. It is derived from the Greek words of sarc meaning “flesh” and penia meaning “lack”.
What it actually means? We generally achieve our peak muscle mass the time we reach 30 years of age but post 30 we start losing muscle mass which is a part of ageing process. However, its onset and progression can be delayed with proper awareness and guidance.
Age related muscle loss starts sooner than you think it can. How much does it impact?
Sarcopenia has been identified as a progressive, gradual process characterized by 3-8% reduction in lean muscle mass per decade after the age of 30 years. It is thought to affect 30% of individuals over 60 years of age and more than 50% of those over 80 years.
How does it matter?
It’s a gradual process of losing muscle mass; does it bother you? Let me tell you that even a small percentage loss in muscle mass matters, as it weakens your muscles and strength year by year. When we say loss in muscle mass, it is not only for your biceps you have made in a gym. It is also about muscles around your hips, thighs that keep us mobile and let us stand upon our own legs. Muscle loss of these areas may lead to frequent fall, reduced mobility and fractures. According to World health Organization (WHO) falls are the second leading cause of accidental or unintentional injury deaths worldwide. In a nutshell, it can be concluded that Sarcopenia leads to physical frailty in an adult which may have a substantial impact on their quality of life.
Can we prevent Sarcopenia?
The onset and progression of Sarcopenia involves various factors. Key factors involved are:
Sedentary lifestyle or sitting for long hours could be one of the reasons of Sarcopenia. Exercise particularly resistance exercise has been shown to increase muscle strength and improve physical performance.
Insufficient nutrient intake (Protein, essential amino acids, leucine and Vitamin D)
We also need to nourish our muscles with protein rich diet. Here along with quantity, quality of protein also matters. The food should not only be rich in amount of protein but should be of high quality having adequate amount of essential amino acids particularly Leucine.
For this you have to just make sure your diet includes plenty of protein rich foods. Dairy proteins (whey and casein) have been considered as complete protein as they have abundant essential amino acids in right proportions. Whey protein is particularly has been considered as rich in essential amino acid, Leucine.
Recent recommendations focus on daily protein intakes that should be at least 1.0 to 1.2 g/kg BW/day for healthy older people, and 1.2 to 1.5 g/kg BW/day for geriatric patients with acute and chronic diseases.