Mitigating Sarcopenia with Diet and Exercise

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2023 Aug 25;20(17):6652. doi: 10.3390/ijerph20176652.


Sarcopenia is the loss of muscle mass and function from aging, inactivity, or disuse. It is a comorbidity to numerous conditions that exacerbates their severity and adversely impacts activities of daily living. While sarcopenia now receives more attention from the medical community, people with sarcopenia as a comorbidity nevertheless still sometimes receives less attention than other presenting diseases or conditions. Inevitable doctors' visits or hospital stays for those with sarcopenia as a comorbidity have far higher healthcare costs than those without this condition, which imposes a greater financial burden on the medical insurance and healthcare industries. This review offers information and guidance on this topic. Treatments for sarcopenia include dietary, exercise, and pharmacological interventions. Yet, the latter treatment is only recommended in extreme cases as it may evoke numerous side effects and has little support in the scientific literature. Currently, a more holistic approach, with an emphasis on lifestyle modification, to reduce the likelihood of sarcopenia is examined. The current review discusses dietary and exercise interventions to limit the occurrence and severity of sarcopenia. References cited in this review conformed to the Declaration of Helsinki requirements for the use of human research subjects. Most of this review's references (~97%) came from a PubMed search that spanned from 1997 to 2023. Search terms included "sarcopenia" OR "muscle wasting" OR "geriatrics"; OR "ageing"; and AND "diet" OR "exercise". In addition, papers relevant or supportive of the topic as well as those considered seminal were included in the review. Over 96% of the references were peer-reviewed articles.

Keywords: dietary supplementation; disuse atrophy; exercise.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living*
  • Aging
  • Diet
  • Humans
  • Muscular Atrophy
  • Sarcopenia* / prevention & control

Grants and funding

This research received no external funding.