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1 in 3 Adults Suffer From Sarcopenia - Progressive Muscle Loss

First Posted: Oct 06, 2014 06:52 AM EDT

New research found that 1 in 3 adults of 50 and older suffer from progressive muscle loss that hinders their ability to lead a complete and active life.

Progressive loss of muscle mass and strength is called sarcopenia. This condition is known to affect people in their 30s and beyond. This progressive condition is characterized by 3-8 percent of reduction in lean muscle mass per decade after the age of 30. As life expectancy increases worldwide, more adults want to maintain a healthy and active lifestyle.

Despite the worldwide prevalence of the condition, a latest study found that adults who do more  resistance exercise like weight lifting and take a nutritious diet of protein, HMB ( an amino acid metabolite that occurs naturally in muscle) and amino acids, see an improvement in muscle mass, function or strength.

"Most people think that sarcopenia only impacts people in nursing homes or other long-term care facilities, but these findings show that is simply not the case," said Robert H. Miller, Ph.D., Divisional Vice President, R&D, Scientific and Medical Affairs, at Abbott Nutrition. "That's why it's important for adults and physicians to take nutrition seriously and evaluate whether people are receiving the nutrients needed to maintain muscle health as they age."

Adults can lower the risk of sarcopenia by maintaining muscle mass and strength. It is estimated that on an average, adults lose nearly 8 percent of their muscle mass per decade from age 40.  This further increases by 15 percent per decade that begins at age 70. It is known that progressive muscle loss dramatically affects a person's energy and ability to perform daily activities like walking, rising from a chair or lifting objects.

Many organizations strongly recommend that old and frail patients must maintain the quality of diet and consume sufficient protein to meet the body requirements.

The study authors suggest that to maintain muscle health as you get older, a person must increase the daily intake of HMB, indulge in resistance training and undergo screening to identify sarcopenia.

The finding was published in Age and Ageing. 

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