Treating sarcopenia in older and oldest old

Curr Pharm Des. 2015;21(13):1715-22. doi: 10.2174/1381612821666150130122032.


The presence of sarcopenia is not only rapidly rising in geriatric clinical practice and research, but is also becoming a significant concept in numerous medical specialties. This rapidly rising concept has encouraged the need to identify methods for treating sarcopenia. Physical activity measures using resistance training exercise, combined with nutritional interventions (protein and amino acid supplementation) have shown to significantly improve muscle mass and strength in older persons. Moreover, resistance training may improve muscle strength and mass by improving protein synthesis in skeletal muscle cells. Aerobic exercise has also shown to hold beneficial impacts on sarcopenia by improving insulin sensitivity. At the moment, the literature indicates that most significant improvement in sarcopenia is based on exercise programs. Thus, this type of intervention should be implemented in a persistent manner over time in elders, with or at risk of muscle loss. At the same time, physical training exercise should include correcting nutritional deficits with supplementation methods. For example, in older sarcopenic patients with adequate renal function, daily protein intake should be increased to >1. 0 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. In particular, leucine, - hydroxy β-methylbutyrate (HMB), creatine and some milk-based proteins have been shown to improve skeletal muscle protein balance. In addition, it is also recommended for adjustment of for vitamin D deficiency, if present, considering the crucial role of vitamin D in the skeletal muscle. In this review, we provide evidence regarding the effects of different physical exercise protocols, specific nutritional intervention, and some new metabolic agents (HMB, citrulline malate, ornithine, and others) on clinical outcomes related to sarcopenia in older adults.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Humans
  • Sarcopenia / drug therapy*