• If you don’t want to become an old man: maintaining muscle mass with advancing age

    Posted November 28, 2016: by Bill Sardi

    The aging male faces loss of muscle mass (sarcopenia) in his 7th and particularly 8th decade of life to the point where a man cannot push himself out of a chair to stand up.  We see men (and women) using a walker as they age and that is unnecessary if physical activity is maintained and meals are comprised of 20 grams of protein or more per day.

    A published monograph is worth reading for instruction. [Current Opinion Clinical Nutrition Metabolic Care Jan 2009]

    A bit more instruction is needed as the monograph suggests red meat as a source of protein.  Yes, red meat is an excellent source of protein but it also is rich in iron and males universally develop iron overload as they age.

    Eggs are suggested as a source of protein.  [British Journal Community Nursing June 2016]  An egg provides 6 grams of protein, so 3 eggs a day would provide close to the suggested amount of protein.

    Protein needs to be consumed at every meal to total 20-30 grams a day.

    Here is where protein dietary supplements are in order.

    Amino acids and fish oil are suggested.  [Advances Nutrition July 2015]

    The amino acid leucine is the most often recommended protein (amino acid). [Journal Nutrition May 2016]  Taurine is another oft-recommended amino acid to help maintain muscle mass. [Journal Translational Medicine 2015]

    Creatine is a newer member of the list of proteins to supplement the diet to allay muscle loss.  [Experimental Gerontology Oct 2016]

    There are a number of leucine supplement to choose from at Amazon.com or your local health food store.  It may be difficult to find creatine, leucine and taurine combinations. [Amazon.com]  These protein formulas are sometimes loaded with sugar.

    Vitamin D supplementation is also in order for muscle tone. [Biomedical Research International 2014; Review Investigational Clinics March 2016]

    One published report extols resveratrol and hyaluronic acid supplementation. [Journal Equine Science 2016]

    The problem is, when consuming protein supplements, encapsulated protein usually provides no more than 1 gram per capsule, so you would have to swallow down 20-30 capsules a day.  So protein powder is in order.

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