Sarcopenia, frailty and their prevention by exercise

Free Radic Biol Med. 2019 Feb 20;132:42-49. doi: 10.1016/j.freeradbiomed.2018.08.035. Epub 2018 Aug 31.


Sarcopenia is a major component of the frailty syndrome, both being considered as strong predictors of morbidity, disability, and death in older people. In this review, we explore the definitions of sarcopenia and frailty and summarize the current knowledge on their relationship with oxidative stress and the possible therapeutic interventions to prevent or treat them, including exercise-based interventions and multimodal strategies. We highlight the relevance of the impairment of the nervous system and of the anabolic response (protein synthesis) in muscle aging leading to frailty and sarcopenia. We also discuss the importance of malnutrition and physical inactivity in these geriatric syndromes. Finally, we propose multimodal interventions, including exercise programs and nutritional supplementation, as the strategies to prevent and treat both sarcopenia and frailty.

Keywords: Atrophy; Malnutrition; Oxidative stress; Protein synthesis; Proteins.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Animals
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Exercise*
  • Frailty / metabolism*
  • Frailty / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Malnutrition
  • Oxidative Stress
  • Sarcopenia / metabolism*
  • Sarcopenia / prevention & control