Exercise, specifically strength and resistance training, can assist in fighting the negative effects of sarcopenia and lean body mass loss. A number of studies have shown the positive impact of exercise in older populations, with improvement in muscle strength and size and physical performance.1
Proper nutrition, with a focus on protein consumption, may reduce the risk and moderate the effects of sarcopenia. Increased protein intake has been shown to2,3:
Another important element of proper nutrition is HMB (β-hydroxy- β-methylbutyrate). HMB is a metabolite of leucine, a branched-chain amino acid consumed from the diet that can help fight lean body mass loss.
HMB occurs naturally in human muscle cells and is found in foods such as avocado, cauliflower, alfalfa, and catfish.11 But it is extremely difficult to obtain the recommended amount supported by research (3g) and to impact muscle health through food alone.
Commercially available HMB, such as the nutritional supplement CaHMB, allows individuals to obtain the recommended daily serving of 3 grams. It can help those suffering from lean body mass loss and has been shown (in combination with other amino acids) to rebuild lean body mass in older adults and patients suffering from cancer or AIDS.12-14
Research shows that HMB alone or in combination with amino acids may improve:
The study tested the efficacy of HMB supplementation on muscle mass declines that occur over 10 days of bed rest. Results based on a prospective, randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial designed to study the impact of HMB on lean body mass during 10 days of bed rest in older adults.10 Patients were not tested for sarcopenia diagnosis.
In a clinical setting, nutrition intervention—commonly in the form of oral nutrition supplements (ONS)—has been shown to18-24:
Health economics outcomes study using 44 million impatient episodes at 460 hospitals from 2000 to 201024-26
Impact on specific 65+ Medicare populations
*Hypothetical patient case.
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