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BioMed Research International
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 2672435, 7 pages
Review Article

Exercise and Protein Intake: A Synergistic Approach against Sarcopenia

1Department of Geriatrics, Neurosciences and Orthopedics, Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, Rome, Italy
2Department of Medicine, Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, Rome, Italy

Correspondence should be addressed to Francesco Landi

Received 13 July 2016; Revised 22 November 2016; Accepted 30 January 2017; Published 21 March 2017

Academic Editor: Ignacio Ara

Copyright © 2017 Anna Maria Martone 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, the age-dependent loss of muscle mass and function/strength, is increasingly recognized as a major risk factor for adverse outcomes in frail older people. As such, the skeletal muscle is a relevant target for interventions aimed at preventing or postponing the occurrence of negative health-related events in late life. The association among physical inactivity, insufficient intake of energy and protein, and poor muscle health in older adults suggests that physical exercise and targeted nutritional supplementation may offer substantial therapeutic gain against sarcopenia and its negative correlates. This view is supported by observational studies as well as by small-scale clinical trials. In this review, we summarize the available evidence on the beneficial effects of behavioral interventions on sarcopenia. We also briefly describe how the knowledge gathered so far has been used to design the “Sarcopenia and Physical fRailty IN older people: multicomponenT Treatment strategies” (SPRINTT) project. The randomized clinical trial conducted within SPRINTT will provide robust evidence on the effectiveness of exercise and nutrition at preventing negative outcomes associated with sarcopenia and physical frailty.