About 30% of people over 60 suffer from loss of muscle mass

Newspaper – A voz do Paraná | 09/28/2021
Around 30% of elderly people over the age of 60 suffer from sarcopenia, which is the loss of muscle mass, strength and performance. The good news is that this ailment can be mitigated or postponed with simple precautions throughout life.  "We start to lose muscle mass around the age of 30. It is a natural process, but the rate of this loss and the impact on the patient's quality of life are directly linked to the amount of lean mass that people have in the body: the less lean mass we have, the higher the risk," says Dr. Roberto Miranda, cardiologist and geriatrician.
According to data from the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE), the life expectancy of Brazilians at birth increases year after year and is approaching 77 years. In addition, it is becoming increasingly common for people to reach over 100 years of age.
"A lot is being discussed about whether the country is ready to care for these people, but not nearly as much thought is put into whether they are getting ready to live longer and better." Dr. Roberto Miranda states that people with low lean muscle mass become "weak", and this could be further aggravated by an acute disease.
"For example, an elderly person with a good amount o lean mass tends to recover better from pneumonia, since the body uses this resource to speed up the recovery process. Once the condition has stabilized, there is still enough mass left for the patient to recover and resume routine activities. That is not the case for elderly patients with little lean mass. They have higher chances of becoming dependent, since their bodies may not have enough strength to fully recover from illness," explains the expert.
"Another problem is the loss of bone tissue and mass (osteoporosis), which is also very common and leads to a higher risk of fractures, which are extremely difficult to handle and recover from," says the geriatrician.
According to the Brazilian Health Department, approximately 10 million Brazilians suffer from osteoporosis, which is the cause of 1 million fractures every year. These serious issues can be mitigated (or postponed) with adjustments to people's routines: having an active lifestyle, which means at least 5,000 steps per day or a half-hour walk; balanced diet, not restricting food types, but reducing the intake of those that are unhealthy; emotional balance, in order for the body to avoid suffering the consequences; avoiding excessive alcohol consumption and not smoking.
Nutritional supplements are another important solution that provide the body with the essential nutrients it needs whenever they are not ingested in the standard diet. A classic example is the ingestion of proteins, which is often below the recommended daily amount. Allergen-free collagen peptides are a great source of protein, such as the protein in milk, soy and gluten. An adequate and balanced combination of proteins associated to vitamins, minerals and branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) is essential to produce muscle mass and avoid sarcopenia.
The intake of adequate amounts of calcium, vitamins D, K and magnesium is needed for bone health and to fight osteoporosis. Since bones are not formed only by calcium, the intake of proteins, vitamin D and magnesium is essential, also considering the role of vitamin K2 as a calcium carrier for bones, keeping this important element from accumulating in arteries and the kidneys. It is worth mentioning that there are several sources of calcium. Calcium Citrate Malate, for example, is better absorbed by our body than calcium carbonate.
A balanced diet – either through standard nutritional diets or supplemented diets – and regular physical activity are the keys to ensuring our bodies can respond effectively to usual needs, which in turn leads to a healthier and longer aging process.
"None of these things are easy to accomplish, but the results are evident and supported by countless studies. So, my recommendation for everyone is to stop procrastinating. No matter how old you are, start making a difference today," says Dr. Roberto Miranda.
About Biolab
Biolab, a Brazilian pharmaceutical company with international presence, presents the Id. Biolab Line, a platform of products and information that reinforces the commitment to favoring the population's health and quality of life. Biolab offers products to promote health and healthy aging, including Sarcopen®, Kriam, Protect®, Repor® and Revitam Prime. They are all supplements with different purposes to help in preventing and maintaining the entire family's health.
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