Assessing the Effects of Dietary Protein Supplementation on Sarcopenia in Community-Dwelling Older Adults
Keywords:sarcopenia, community-dwelling, older adults, dietary protein intake
Sarcopenia, an age-associated skeletal muscle disorder characterized by muscle loss, is associated with disability in elderly populations. This literature review summarizes the impact of protein intake and supplementation on the indicators of severe sarcopenia—muscle mass, muscle strength, and physical function in community-dwelling older adults. We performed a literature search on PubMed, EMBASE, and MedLine, and included studies that evaluated the effects of protein intake with or without exercise intervention and on sarcopenia in community-dwelling older adults. Information regarding study participants, protein intervention, and sarcopenia-related outcomes were collected. Protein supplementation with or without exercise positively improves muscle mass, and aspects of muscle strength and physical function in sarcopenic and pre-frail older adults, while it elicited inconclusive effects in healthy populations. Greater dietary animal-based and soy-based protein diets can improve muscle mass in older adults. In conclusion, protein supplementation can improve muscle mass and reduce the risk of sarcopenia in sarcopenia and pre-frail older adults, while future studies should continue to investigate the effects of protein supplementation on indicators of sarcopenia in healthy older adults.
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