29 Jul Supplements can prevent loss of muscle mass
Reduced muscle mass as you age can lead to falls and other injuries, but there are several supplements that can help prevent and reverse muscle deterioration. Unfortunately, sarcopenia, the gradual loss of muscle caused by aging, is often unavoidable due to a sedentary lifestyle or serious illness. For those determined to stay trim for as long as possible, there are a number of nutrients that, when combined with exercise, can maintain healthy muscles.
When seniors have reduced muscle mass, every day activities can put them at risk for a fall or broken bone. A new review from the International Osteoporosis Foundation Nutrition Working Group examined what nutritional factors can help prevent these injuries in older adults.
“Strategies to reduce the numbers of falls and fractures within our aging populations must include measures to prevent sarcopenia,” said Ambrish Mithal, M.D., the review’s co-author. “At present, the available evidence suggests that combining resistance training with optimal nutritional status has a synergistic affect in preventing and treating sarcopenia.”
The first suggestion for keeping healthy muscles is to get enough daily protein. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests that 10 to 35 percent of daily caloric intake comes from proteins. Common sources are meats, beans and dairy, but there are also dietary supplements if you’re struggling to make the quota. An adequate amount of protein is important to maintaining skeletal muscle mass and increasing bone health.
Another nutrient that plays a role in preserving muscle mass is vitamin D. While most adults get their daily dose from being out in the sun, studies have shown that a vitamin D supplement can enhance skeletal muscle in seniors. This vitamin also works with calcium to keep bones strong and prevent osteoporosis.
Omega-3 fatty acids
Lastly, a study published in the journal Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care suggests that polyunsaturated fats, such as omega-3, can also be beneficial in preventing the loss of muscle mass. The data showed that omega-3 supplements helped to rebuild muscle mass when paired with an anabolic stimulus. The study suggests that supplementation would be most effective when started in the early stages of sarcopenia and would provide a safe, inexpensive method to combat the disease.
A fish oil supplement such as Omax3 is an easy way to get an appropriate daily dose of fatty acids EPA and DHA. This dietary supplement, along with protein and vitamin D intake, can help to keep muscles and bones strong in older adults.