The Effects of Protein and Supplements on Sarcopenia in Human Clinical Studies: How Older Adults Should Consume Protein and Supplements

J Microbiol Biotechnol. 2023 Feb 28;33(2):143-150. doi: 10.4014/jmb.2210.10014. Epub 2022 Oct 31.


Sarcopenia is a condition in which muscle mass, strength, and performance decrease with age. It is associated with chronic diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and hypertension, and contributes to an increase in mortality. Because managing sarcopenia is critical for maintaining good health and quality of life for the elderly, the condition has sparked concern among many researchers. To counteract sarcopenia, intake of protein is an important factor, while a lack of either protein or vitamin D is a major cause of sarcopenia. In addition, essential amino acids, leucine, β-hydroxy β-methylbutyrate (HMB), creatine, and citrulline are used as supplements for muscle health and are suggested as alternatives for controlling sarcopenia. There are many studies on such proteins and supplements, but it is necessary to actually organize the types, amounts, and methods by which proteins and supplements should be consumed to inhibit sarcopenia. In this study, the efficacy of proteins and supplements for controlling sarcopenia according to human clinical studies is summarized to provide suggestions about how the elderly may consume proteins, amino acids, and other supplements.

Keywords: HMB; Sarcopenia; amino acids; leucine; protein; whey.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Humans
  • Leucine
  • Muscle, Skeletal / metabolism
  • Quality of Life
  • Sarcopenia* / metabolism


  • Leucine