Article by Sky Taylor, Diet Bites


What is Sarcopenia?

Low Protein + Low Exercise = Sarcopenia.

This condition occurs about the time we reach our mid-forties. We start to lose muscle - about 1% each year.

Muscle requires more calories to support than fat.

And whenever muscle mass is lost, the body requires less calories to support its daily functions and needs.

What Causes Sarcopenia?

The Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Turfs University [HNRCA] has been studying Sarcopenia since the 1980's. They have concluded that the gradual loss of muscle over time is connected to lifestyle - a lack of activity combined with a protein deficiency.

In their ongoing studies the following elements associated with Sarcopenia are researched: nutrition, hormones, and immune responses which influence the loss of muscle mass.

How Sarcopenia Impacts the Elderly

It increases frailty. Using our logic we can readily understand how a decline in strength places the body at risk for disease, increased illness as well as lowering stamina and quality of life.


Activity & Protein Requirements for Adults

Sarcopenia can be reversed to a great degree by exercise and a modification in diet.

Exercise Recommendation

Strength-training and resistant-training exercises have been associated with seeing marked improvements in the elderly subjects.

The Surgeon General's daily recommendation for exercise in 1966 was 1/2 hour per day - which was increased in 2005 to 1 hour daily. The recommendation specified moderate physical activity. Examples include brisk walking, gardening, riding a bicycle, hiking, skating, playing a non-aggressive sports and many forms of martial arts.

Protein Recommendation

Researchers are currently addressing daily recommended protein needs for healthy adults in an effort to prevent and reverse lost muscle.

The current recommendation for protein is 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight. For example, a 154 pound male requires about 56 grams of protein intake daily.

In Summary

If you are in your mid-forties - now more than ever it's vital to your future health and longevity factor that you embrace a daily exercise program. In addition, examine your daily diet. Are you consuming sufficient amounts of protein? If not, work to remedy your diet adding lean protein sources that meet your daily requirements.


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