Examining Symptoms Of Sarcopenia Biology Essay

Published: Last Edited:

This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers.

Symptoms of muscle loss include musculoskeletal weakness and loss of stamina, which can interfere with physical activity. Reduced physical activity, in turn, further reduces muscle mass.

One of the first signs of losing muscle is the feeling of having less force and strength. Muscle and strength go hand-in-hand, so having less muscle mass means having less strength, not just for lifting heavy objects, but also for doing your day-to-day chores. Carrying the laundry gets harder, the groceries get heavier and the stairs get harder to climb.

Another sign of losing muscle is having less energy. As muscle cells and protein levels diminish, your remaining muscles tire more quickly and easily. Being tired leads to a more sedentary lifestyle and being sedentary in turn leads to further muscle loss. Having less energy may also lead to less healthy eating habits. If you're tired you may turn to sugar or caffeine for energy or you may hit a fast-food restaurant rather than cooking a healthy meal yourself.

Losing muscle results in the slowing of muscle mechanics that is evidenced in less speed of movement. Muscles become unable to have that burst of energy or quickness they once had. Movements become more thought out or planned and less spontaneous. Extra movements are generally avoided.

When you lose muscle, you lose its mass, its fibers, its cells and its potential to make new mass, fibers and cells. The remaining fibers become disorganized and have fewer filaments and decreased mechanical function. Signs of this include less precise control of movements. Dexterity, flexibility and balance all suffer. Core strength is diminished, which also negatively affects balance

Without muscle mass, weight is gained and metabolic syndrome begins. Muscle is one of the major organs involved in metabolism. So when a person loses muscle mass and continues to maintain caloric intake, they gain weight, especially in the belly. This excess weight contributes to the onset of metabolic syndromes, such as glucose intolerance and diabetes.

The inability of the body to efficiently metabolize blood sugar is called glucose intolerance, a condition that leads to Type 2 diabetes. Aging and muscle loss are culprits in this epidemic.


Sarcopenia is the age-related loss of lean muscle mass, strength, and functionality, can prevent elderly people from performing the most basic tasks of daily living, and greatly increases their risk of suffering falls and other serious accidents. Therefore, there are many types of prevention four our body to overcome the sarcopenia. Preventing and treating sarcopenia requires an integrated approach that incorporates dietary strategies, hormone replacement, nutritional supplementation, and exercise.

Firstly, we need the correct diet with all the important nutrients necessary for muscle growth, and to keep blood sugar levels maintain. Actually, this is the single most important Anti-Sarcopenia therapy which we can do easily, because we must keep our blood glucose level by hook or by crook. We need to eat plenty of chicken, fish, meat, eggs, milk, and milk products also plenty of vegetables. Eat small portions of fruits, or not at all. Avoid rice, corn, potatoes, and pasta. Beans and nuts are acceptable, but only need in small quantities.

Secondly, we should do aerobic and weight training exercise. This is so basic and so logical method. Exercise of course, will help build muscles, as every body builder in the world already knows without it having to be proven. Exercise stimulates the release of hormones that promote healthy muscle mass. These include growth hormone, which acts throughout the body, as well as local growth factors. Aerobic exercise is great for the cardiovascular system and for keeping body fat levels low, but is only mildly effective in preserving the lean body mass you already have.

Besides, we should take all the good vitamins  A, C, E, which are the anti-oxidants, which will help to keep the circulatory system healthy. The vitamin B-complex which is known to be good for the nervous system and vitamins D and K which help to prevent osteoporosis. Creatine is a safe, natural supplement that will help to prevent sarcopenia. Creatine improves fat free mass. Creatine will increases the amount of ATP available to skeletal muscle cells during exercise, which results in more speed and power. Glutamine is another important nutrient that has been shown to lessen muscle wasting.

In addition, the EDTA Chelation therapy  can remove lead from the circulatory system. Lead is obviously bad for the nervous system. EDTA chelation will help remove some lead and it will also help to clear up some of the excess baggage, such as calcium deposits on the sides of the circulatory system. This will allow blood to flow more freely. This, in turn, will prevent sarcopenia by permitting blood to bring water, nutrients, and oxygen to the nerves and muscles, and every other cell in the body.

Last but not least, insulin also will help to prevent sarcopenia because it helps you to control blood sugar easily, and the intake of insulin should get the advice from the doctor first. Of course bad habits that must be avoided. First thing first is do not smoking cigarettes and heavy drinking of alcohol because there  are two bad habits that simply cannot go together in order to prevent the sarcopenia.


To prevent and treat Sarcopenia, a multi-faceted approach must be taken, which involve dietary factors, hormonal factors, supplemental nutrients and also exercise.

Dietary consideration

The major dietary consideration that increase the risk of Sarcopenia are lack of adequate protein, inadequate calories intake, and low level, chronic, metabolism acidosis. Although it's generally believed that average normal people will get more protein then they require, the diets of older adults are often deficient. Compounding that are possible reductions in digestion and absorption of protein, protein requirements for older adults are higher than for their younger counterparts. There some studies indicate that most older adults don't get enough high quality protein to support and preserve their lean body mass. There is an important thing that we need to notice on increasing protein, which related to low level, diet-induced, metabolic acidosis. People usually have diets that are high in animal proteins and cereal grains, and low in fruits and vegetables. It's been shown that such diets cause a low grade metabolic acidosis, which contributes to the decline in muscle and bone mass found in aging adults. By adding a buffering agent such as potassium bicarbonate to the diet of post-menopausal women the muscle wasting effects of a normal diet were prevented. There are some researchers concluded the use of the buffering agent was potentially sufficient to both prevent continuing age-related loss of muscle mass and restore previously accrued deficits. Although older adults require adequate intakes of high quality proteins to maintain their muscle mass, it should come from a variety of sources and be accompanied by an increase in fruits and vegetables as well as a reduction of cereal grain-based foods.

Hormonal Consideration

As most are aware, with aging comes a general decline in many hormones, in particular, anabolic hormones such as Growth Hormone (GH), DHEA, and testosterone. In addition, researchers are looking at Insulin-like Growth factor one (IGF-1) and Mechano Growth factor (MGF) which are essential players in the hormonal environment that responsible for maintaining muscle mass as well as bone mass. Without adequate levels of these hormones, it's essentially impossible to maintain lean body mass, regardless of diet or exercise.

It's been shown, for example, that circulating GH declines dramatically with age. In old age, GH levels are only one-third of that in our teenage years. In addition, aging adults have a weak GH response to exercise as well as reduced output of MGF, which explains why older adults have a much more difficult time building muscle compared to their younger counterparts. However, when older adults are given GH, and then exposed to resistance exercise, their MGF response is markedly improved, as is their muscle mass. Another hormone essential for maintaining lean body mass is testosterone. Testosterone, especially when given to men low in this essential hormone, has a wide range of positive effects. In healthy older men with low-normal to mildly decreased testosterone levels, testosterone supplementation increased lean body mass and decreased fat mass. Upper and lower body strength, functional performance, sexual functioning, and mood were improved or unchanged with testosterone replacement. Women also need testosterone. Although women produce less testosterone, it's as essential to the health and well being of women as it is for men.

Nutrient and supplement considerations

There are several supplemental nutrients that should be helpful for combating sarcopenia, both directly and indirectly. Supplements that have shown promise for combating sarcopenia are creatine, vitamin D, whey protein, acetyl-L-carnitine, glutamine, and buffering agents such as potassium bicarbonate.

Creatine : The muscle atrophy found in older adults comes predominantly from a loss of fast twitch (FT) type II fibers which are recruited during high-intensity, anaerobic movements (e.g., weight lifting, sprinting, etc.). Interestingly, these are exactly the fibers Creatine has the most profound effects on. Various studies find creatine given to older adults increases strength and lean body mass.

Vitamin D : It is well established that vitamin D plays an essential role in bone health. However, recent studies suggest it's also essential for maintaining muscle mass in aging populations. In muscle, vitamin D is essential for preserving type II muscle fibers, which, as mentioned above, are the very muscle fibers that atrophy most in aging people. Adequate vitamin D intakes could help reduce the rates of both osteoporosis and sarcopenia found in aging people.

Whey protein : As previously mentioned, many older adults fail to get enough high quality protein in their diets. Whey has an exceptionally high biological value (BV), with anti-cancer and immune enhancing properties among its many uses. As a rule, higher biological value proteins are superior for maintaining muscle mass compared to lower quality proteins, which may be of particular importance to older individuals. Finally, data suggests fast digesting proteins such as whey may be superior to other proteins for preserving lean body mass in older individuals.

There are several additional nutrients worth considering when developing a comprehensive supplement regimen designed to prevent and or treat sarcopenia. In no particular order, they are: fish oils (EPA/DHA), acetyl-l-carnitine, glutamine, and buffering agents such as potassium bicarbonate. There is good scientific reason to believe they would be beneficial for combating sarcopenia, but data specific to sarcopenia is lacking. For example, EPA/DHA has been found to preserve muscle mass (e.g. is anti-catabolic) under a wide range of physiological conditions. The anti-inflammatory effects of fish oils would also lead one to believe they should be of value in the prevention or treatment of sarcopenia. In general, fish oils have so many health benefits. Acetyl-l-carnitine also offers many health benefits to aging people, and data suggests it should be useful in combating this condition. Glutamine is another nutrient that should be useful in an overall plan to combat sarcopenia. Finally, data does suggest strongly that bicarbonate and citrate buffering agents containing minerals such as potassium, magnesium, and calcium can reverse the metabolic acidosis caused by unbalanced diets. Much greater health benefits will result from improving the diet over simply adding in this supplement. In addition, there are potential problems that could result from excessive intake of buffer salts, such as hyperkalemia and formation of kidney stones.

Exercise Considerations

Exercise is the important thing in combating Sarcopenia. Without it, none of the above will be an effective method of preventing/treating sarcopenia. Exercise is the essential stimulus for systemwide release of various hormones such as GH, as well as local growth factors in tissue, such as MGF. Exercise is the stimulus that increases protein and bone synthesis, and exerts other effects that combat the loss of essential muscle and bone as we age. Exercise can optimize the effects of HRT, diet and supplements. Aerobic exercise is great for the cardiovascular system and helps keep body fat low, but when scientists or athletes want to increase lean mass, resistance training is always the method. Aerobics does not build muscle and is only mildly effective at preserving the lean body mass you already have. Thus, some form of resistance training (via weights, machines, bands, etc.) is essential for preserving or increasing muscle mass.