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BioMed Research International
Volume 2015, Article ID 524948, 14 pages
Review Article

Novel Insights on Nutrient Management of Sarcopenia in Elderly

Department of Public Health, Experimental and Forensic Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Pavia and Endocrinology and Nutrition Unit, Azienda di Servizi alla Persona di Pavia, Via Emilia 12, 27100 Pavia, Italy

Received 18 August 2014; Revised 16 October 2014; Accepted 19 October 2014

Academic Editor: Giuseppe D’Antona

Copyright © 2015 Mariangela Rondanelli et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Sarcopenia is defined as a syndrome characterized by progressive and generalized loss of muscle mass and strength. The more rationale approach to delay the progression of sarcopenia is based on the combination of proper nutrition, possibly associated with the use of dietary supplements and a regular exercise program. We performed a narrative literature review to evaluate the till-now evidence regarding (1) the metabolic and nutritional correlates of sarcopenia; (2) the optimum diet therapy for the treatment of these abnormalities. This review included 67 eligible studies. In addition to the well recognized link between adequate intake of proteins/amino acids and sarcopenia, the recent literature underlines that in sarcopenic elderly subjects there is an unbalance in vitamin D synthesis and in omega-6/omega-3 PUFA ratio. Given the detrimental effect of these metabolic abnormalities, a change in the lifestyle must be the cornerstone in the treatment of sarcopenia. The optimum diet therapy for the sarcopenia treatment must aim at achieving specific metabolic goals, which must be reached through accession of the elderly to specific personalized dietary program aimed at achieving and/or maintaining muscle mass; increasing their intake of fish (4 times/week) or taking omega-3 PUFA supplements; taking vitamin D supplementation, if there are low serum levels.