Nutrient Intake and Muscle Measures in Geriatric Outpatients

J Am Coll Nutr. 2021 Sep-Oct;40(7):589-597. doi: 10.1080/07315724.2020.1800533. Epub 2021 May 25.


Objective: Low muscle mass and muscle function are associated with adverse health outcomes in older adults. This study examined nutrient intake as a potential contributing factor for low muscle mass, muscle strength, and muscle power in geriatric outpatients.

Method: This cross-sectional study included geriatric outpatients (n = 58, 38 female) with a mean age of 77.2 ± 9.0 years referred to the Falls and Balance outpatient clinic between December 2017 and January 2019. Nutrient intake (macro- and micronutrients) was examined using a 3-day food diary. Energy-adjusted nutrient intake was calculated using the residual method. Sex-standardized muscle measures included muscle mass assessed using bioelectrical impedance analysis (skeletal muscle mass [SMM in kilograms], SMM index [SMM/height2 in kg/m2], and SMM/body mass index), handgrip strength (muscle strength) assessed using a dynamometer, and chair-stand test (muscle power). Univariate linear regression analyses were used to examine the associations of nutrient intake with muscle measures adjusted for age and body weight. A Bonferroni correction was applied to account for multiple testing (p < 0.001).

Results: Higher energy, iodine, and folate intake were associated with higher muscle mass, and higher folate intake was associated with higher muscle strength (p < 0.05). After Bonferroni correction, none of the nutrient intakes remained statistically significant. None of the other nutrients was associated with muscle measures.

Conclusions: Only a few nutrients were associated with muscle measures. Nutrient intake appears to be more related to muscle mass than muscle strength and muscle power in geriatric outpatients.

Keywords: Aged; diet; muscles; nutrition assessment; sarcopenia.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Body Mass Index
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Eating
  • Female
  • Hand Strength*
  • Humans
  • Muscle Strength
  • Muscle, Skeletal
  • Outpatients
  • Sarcopenia*