HealthBreak | Sarcopenia
Sarcopenia begins around age 30, and is a part of the natural aging process of our muscles. "We lose four different aspects of our muscles," explains Kirsten Godwin, RD CNSC - Clinical Nutrition Manager at Providence St. Patrick Hospital in Missoula, Montana. "We lose mass, function, strength and quality of muscle; that continues to progress as we age. After we reach about age 70, our muscle loss and function loss accelerate at an even greater rate - about 15 percent per year." Sarcopenia can be prevented, through proper nutrition, such as the consumption of lean proteins, as well as exercise. "The protein pool in the blood helps with protein synthesis," says Kirsten. "If you do not eat enough protein, or good-quality proteins, the rate of synthesis is reduced and we don't have enough amino acids to keep our muscle strength, quality and function up to where it should be." As people age, they also lose flexibility and balance, causing falls. "That combination of exercise and good nutrition can really slow the progression, and help prevent Sarcopenia," Godwin says.