Table 2: Studies (prospective cohort study or randomized controlled trial) performed in elderly subjects to investigate the optimum dietary supplementation, other than proteins, for the treatment of sarcopenia.

NutrientsAuthorType of studyResults Recommended treatment

Vitamin D Snijder et al., 2006 [114]Prospective cohort studyPoor vitamin D status is independently associated with an increased risk of falling in the elderly, particularly in those aged 65–75 yr.
Verhaar et al., 2000 [109]Randomized controlled trialSix months of alphacalcidol treatment led to a significant increase in the walking distance over 2 minutes.Six months of vitamin D treatment (0.5 microg alphacalcidol)
Gloth et al., 1995 [110]Randomized controlled trialIn this cohort of homebound older people, improvement in vitamin D status was associated with functional improvement as measured by the Frail Elderly Functional Assessment questionnaire.One month of therapy with either placebo or vitamin D (ergo-calciferol)

Beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate (HMB) Flakoll et al., 2004 [50]Randomized controlled trialDaily supplementation of HMB, arginine, and lysine for 12 wk Daily supplementation of HMB, arginine, and lysine for 12 wk positively altered measurements of functionality, strength, fat-free
mass, and protein synthesis, suggesting that the strategy of targeted nutrition has the ability to affect muscle health in elderly women.

Long-chain omega-3 fatty acidsSmith et al., 2011 [131]Randomized controlled trialOmega-3 fatty acid supplementation had no effect on the basal rate of muscle protein synthesis but enhanced the hyperaminoacidemia-hyperinsulinemia-induced increase in the rate of muscle protein synthesis, which was accompanied by greater increases in muscle mTORSer2448 phosphorylation1.86 g eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA, 20:5n23) and 1.50 g docosahexaenoic acid (DHA, 22:6n23), both as ethyl esters