Diet, Exercise Help To Combat Muscle Loss

First Posted: May 13, 2015 03:34 PM EDT

Researchers at the University of Southampton have found that some studies show how diet can enhance the effects of exercise to prevent muscle loss later in life.

It's between the ages of 40 and 80 that an estimated 30 to 50 percent of our muscle mass begins to degenerate, resulting in lower strength capabilities and less ability to carry out everyday tasks.

Yet that's where exercise training and diet supplementation come into play. Studies have shown how the combination can help to prevent sarcopenia. However, little is known about the combined effects of training with supplements, particularly in older individuals who are dealing with the greatest muscle loss.

For the study, scientists from the Medical Research Council (MRC) Lifecourse Epidemiology Unit at the University of Southampton carried out a review of combined diet and exercise training trails in men and women over the age of 65.

Researchers screened close to 5,000 articles with over 100 reviewed in detail on the subject and 17 of them were included in the review. However, the review found differences across studies, suggesting more research.

"Poor diets and being physically inactive are common in older age. Understanding the benefits of maintaining sufficient levels of physical activity and diet quality to prevent sarcopenia is therefore a priority," said lead study author Stan Robinson, in a news release.  "Although some studies have found enhanced effects of exercise training when combined with diet supplementation, our review shows that current evidence is incomplete and inconsistent. Further research to determine the benefits of supplementation and exercise training for older people is therefore needed."

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