Monday, April 22, 2024

What is Sarcopenia and How to Avoid It. How much muscle is lost wih the passage of time?

Sarcopenia is a condition characterized by the age-related progressive loss of muscle mass, strength, and function1. It commonly affects people aged 60 and older, with the rates of the condition increasing with age1. The main symptom of sarcopenia is muscle weakness, which can significantly impact the quality of life by reducing the ability to perform daily tasks1. 

To avoid or slow down the progression of sarcopenia, it's recommended to lead an active lifestyle and incorporate regular strength training into your routine. Additionally, maintaining a healthy diet that includes high-quality proteins can help preserve muscle mass and support muscle growth2. 

As for how much muscle is lost with the passage of time, after middle age, adults lose about 3% of their muscle strength every year, on average2. This loss of muscle strength can limit the ability to perform many routine activities and can also shorten life expectancy compared to individuals with normal muscle strength2. It's important to note that while some causes of sarcopenia are a natural consequence of aging, others are preventable, and a healthy diet and regular exercise can reverse sarcopenia, increasing lifespan and quality of life2. 

In terms of specific numbers, researchers estimate that generally, those between ages 60 and 70 have lost about 12% of their muscle mass, with those over 80 having lost 30%7. However, these rates can vary, and factors such as physical activity levels and diet can influence the rate of muscle loss. Strength training and proper nutrition are key strategies to preserve muscle mass and strength as we age568. 


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