Aging can be a scary thing. Aside from dealing with age-related health challenges, us parents will also have to consider how our kids and family can cope if ever we get a debilitating sickness or god forbid, die.
There are a number of age-related health challenges, all serious and can be fatal. The ones on top of mind for most people are arthritis, heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, osteoporosis, and diabetes. But there’s a relatively new one that parents should know — sarcopenia.
What is sarcopenia?
Sarcopenia generally refers to the clinically significant loss of muscle mass and strength that results from “normal aging.” It is considered a part of the natural aging process.
Why is muscle mass important?
The term muscle mass includes smooth muscles, skeletal muscles, and water contained in our muscles. Muscle mass has a number of important functions in our body, including control of movement and posture, regulate metabolism, stores energy, acts as a primary source of amino acids for the brain and immune system, and acts as a substrate for malnutrition, starvation, injury, and wound healing and disease.
Who are at risk for sarcopenia?
Muscle loss could start in adults aged 30 years old and above. Studies have shown that most adults could lose 3% to 5% of lean muscle mass each year once they hit their 30s. At the same time, muscle strength also declines by around 12% to 15% per decade. And the drops are more significant among people who do not eat healthily nor exercise regularly.
Aside from aging, what are the other causes of sarcopenia?
Sarcopenia can affect both inactive and active people alike, which means that there are other factors involved in its development aside from aging. Studies have shown that this includes:
- A decrease in the nerve cells that are responsible for sending signals from the brain to the muscles to start movement.
- Changes in endocrine function, such as increased insulin resistance, decreased growth hormone, reduced levels of estrogen and testosterone, vitamin D deficiency, and increased parathyroid hormone.
- A reduced ability to turn protein into energy.
- Insufficient calories or protein intake per day to sustain muscle mass.
What are the effects of sarcopenia?
Sarcopenia can have considerable effects on our health and daily living, such as:
- It can contribute to reduced balance and gait speed, and higher risks of falls and fractures.
- If combined with osteoporosis, it can lead to a general frailty, which is quite common among the elderly.
- It can also contribute to poor muscle strength and overall deterioration in muscle quality.
- It can lead to impaired skeletal function, and as such can result to the following health conditions: diabetes, chronic obstructive airways disease (COPD), metabolic syndrome, osteoarthritis, congestive cardiac failure, cancer, Parkinson’s, and stroke.
What are the treatments for sarcopenia?
There is no actual medicine yet for sarcopenia and currently, the primary treatment for it is exercise. Some steps you can take to prevent or decrease the risk of sarcopenia include:
- Exercise, specifically resistance or strength training. Resistance training can boost your neuromuscular system and can also improve your body’s ability to convert protein to energy. You can also include aerobics as it can help strengthen the way your muscles work on a cellular level.
- Include plenty of protein in your diet. Protein has amino acids that are considered muscle’s building blocks. So eating lots of protein can help you keep your muscle mass. You can opt to include protein-rich foods such as beef, pork, lamb, fish, poultry, milk and dairy products, eggs, seeds, and nuts into your diet.
- Take vitamin D supplements. Low levels of vitamin D can lead to less muscle mass strength and an increased risk of falls and disabilities.
- Include Omega-3s to your diet. Omega-3s are considered essential fatty acids that can boost heart health and even mood. At the same time, recent studies have shown that omega-3s have a positive effect on muscle health — it improves the way our muscles use protein. So aside from preventing sarcopenia, omega-3s can help treat it. Omega-3-rich foods that you can incorporate into your diet include walnuts, salmon, omega-enriched eggs, and flaxseeds.
- Drink a glass of Ensure Gold everyday. Ensure Gold is an adult supplement nutrition that offers complete and balanced nutrition, thanks to its Triple Protein Blend — a combination of Whey, Soy, and Casein, making it effective in the prevention of muscle mass loss. At the same time, it has a well-balanced proportion of macronutrients — protein, carbohydrates, and fats that are all within the recommended range on the Dietary Reference Intakes for adults. Ensure Gold can also be considered as the best nutritional supplement for parents in the market thanks to the fact that it contains 28 vitamins and minerals including an excellent source of antioxidants: Vitamins C, E, and Selenium that supports normal immune function, prebiotic FOS that promotes the growth of good bacteria and supports gut and immune health, plus the FOS also helps absorb calcium and magnesium that also boosts bone health. At the same time, Ensure is gluten and lactose-free, so its safe for adults who are lactose intolerant.
Busy parents can now easily get their supply of Ensure Gold anytime, anywhere, thanks to Lazada. Just sign up, log in, and cart your nutritional drink via the Lazada site or Lazada app, and your Ensure Gold will be delivered straight to your doorstep.
*All content in this article should be taken as for informational purposes only and should not be considered as medical advice.
Published with Ensure Gold.