The secret to preserving muscle as you get older

Filed in: Healing Foods, Nourish.

As we get older, preserving muscle mass is fundamental to our health and quality of life. Sarcopenia is the gradual loss of muscle mass and strength. Unlike bone loss, which is an inevitable consequence of aging, sarcopenia is related to nutritional causes.

People who are 80 years old or older, considered the "oldest people" in studies of age-related diseases, are among the fastest growing demographics, a demographic that is expected to double in the next century. . This age group has been underrepresented in the research and scientists are now trying to correct that oversight.

50% of our muscle mass will disappear at age 75, but this process starts around age 35! The danger of lose muscle mass It has nothing to do with the outward appearance. It is the effect this has on how our body works which makes sarcopenia so dangerous.

Loss of muscular causes

Decreased strength Intolerance to exercise Weakness and fatigue Poor balance Higher risk of falls and injuries Metabolic dysfunction Intolerance to climate temperature Higher risk of type 2 diabetes Increased risk of dementia Premature mortality

A new study published in the Journal of the American Geriatric Society discovered that these problems can lead to hospitalization and, often, to bed rest, which accelerates the process of sarcopenia in everyone, but especially in the elderly. conserving muscle

After age 40, you can lose 8% of your muscle mass, or more, every decade.

What causes sarcopenia?

Decrease in physical activity Decrease in hormone production Malnutrition Chronic disease

The research of the Research Institute of the Pacific Medical Center in California, where the scientist Peggy Cawthon, PhD and her team supervised more than 3,000 subjects between 70 and 80 years for five years, shows that it is possible to improve.

His study focused on muscle density, the percentage of fat in lean muscle, and measured the speed of the participants and the strength of grip.

Cawthon said of his data: "The findings … suggest that interventions, such as physical exercise, that improve physical function could help keep older people more vulnerable outside of the hospital." That would not only reduce disability, but that would also reduce the enormous economic burden associated with the hospitalization of the elderly. "

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In the year 2000, the direct costs of medical care for the treatment of sarcopenia in the United States were $ 18.5 billion. Even short hospital stays increase the risk of further physical deterioration in the elderly. By slowing down the sarcopenia process, or preventing it altogether, you will have many more years of independence and good health.

Nutrition and muscle mass

A new study from the Nutrition Working Group of the International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF) found that nutrition plays a huge role in the prevention of sarcopenia.

Jean-Philippe Bonjour, a professor of medicine at the University of Geneva, commented on his findings: "The most obvious intervention against sarcopenia is exercise in the form of resistance training. However, an adequate nutritional intake and an optimal acid-base balance in the diet are also very important elements of any strategy to preserve muscle mass and strength during aging. "

Preserve the muscle in 5 easy steps

Lean protein
Composed of amino acids, protein is essential for building and maintaining every muscle in your body. No matter how old you are, lean proteins are essential for good nutrition and total body health.

Add foods such as boneless / skinless chicken breast, lean beef, fish and seafood, eggs, cottage cheese and beans to your regular diet to give your body the protein it needs.

Vitamin D

Without enough vitamin D, your body does not work properly. The deficiency of this essential vitamin renders it incapable of absorbing calcium, weakens the immune system and contributes to muscle and bone loss. The most efficient source of Vitamin D is the sun. We do it naturally when we spend 15 minutes, three days a week, exposing our face and hands to the sun's rays. Until you spend some time out, vitamin D in your body remains inactive.

Fortified cereals and dairy products, fish and shellfish, cheese and eggs are dietary sources of vitamin D and supplements are useful during seasons when it is impossible to be exposed to the sun. Talk to your doctor about the best dose of vitamin D for you.

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Acid / alkaline balance
Too much acid in your body causes inflammation and compromises your immune system. Scientists are discovering that excessive consumption of foods high in fat and sugar with very few fruits and vegetables increases the cases of acidosis and affects our musculoskeletal health. Finding a balance, opting for lean proteins while including alkaline foods, will protect your body from preventable wear.

Alkaline foods include radishes, broccoli, kale, spinach, apples, bananas, cantaloupe, oranges, lemons, almonds, peppers, garlic, cinnamon, curry and ginger.

Folic acid and B-12
Folic acid is crucial for cell growth and regeneration, while vitamin B-12 regulates our metabolism, the production of hormones and the formation of red blood cells. Both are essential for human health and deficiencies have been linked to bone and muscle loss, dementia, heart disease, chronic pain, cancer and birth defects.

Spinach, asparagusBroccoli, citrus fruits, beans, avocados, seeds and nuts, carrots and pumpkins have a lot of folic acid, while chicken breast, lean beef, eggs, dairy products and seafood will give your system the B-12 you need.

Low exercise and no impact
One of the reasons why many older people do not exercise regularly is because of fear of injury. For many, falls represent a decrease in health that they can not recover from. Finding low or no impact exercise options for those who suffer from physical disabilities or age-related restrictions is critical to keeping the body strong.

Some exercises to consider are Tai Chi, water aerobics and chair exercises, which are gaining popularity in senior centers and gyms across the country.

Older people who practice tai chi for three years drastically reduce the progression of sarcopenia and increase their chances of having a longer, healthier life with fewer problems, such as heart disease and diabetes.

Taking action now with respect to exercise and nutrition will make a difference to preserve muscle mass and quality of life No matter your gender, current age or fitness level.

The secret to preserve muscle as you get older, Source:

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