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International Journal of Endocrinology
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 204164, 12 pages
Review Article

Sarcopenic Obesity and Endocrinal Adaptation with Age

1Research Center for Physical Fitness, Sports and Health, Toyohashi University of Technology, 1-1 Hibarigaoka, Tenpaku-cho, Toyohashi 441-8580, Japan
2School of Dentistry, Health Sciences University of Hokkaido, Kanazawa, Ishikari-Tobetsu, Hokkaido 061-0293, Japan

Received 29 November 2012; Accepted 1 March 2013

Academic Editor: Marco A. Minetto

Copyright © 2013 Kunihiro Sakuma and Akihiko Yamaguchi. 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.


In normal aging, changes in the body composition occur that result in a shift toward decreased muscle mass and increased fat mass. The loss of muscle mass that occurs with aging is termed sarcopenia and is an important cause of frailty, disability, and loss of independence in older adults. Age-related changes in the body composition as well as the increased prevalence of obesity determine a combination of excess weight and reduced muscle mass or strength, recently defined as sarcopenic obesity. Weight gain increases total/abdominal fat, which, in turn, elicits inflammation and fatty infiltration in muscle. Sarcopenic obesity appears to be linked with the upregulation of TNF- , interleukin (IL)-6, leptin, and myostatin and the downregulation of adiponectin and IL-15. Multiple combined exercise and mild caloric restriction markedly attenuate the symptoms of sarcopenic obesity. Intriguingly, the inhibition of myostatin induced by gene manipulation or neutralizing antibody ameliorates sarcopenic obesity via increased skeletal muscle mass and improved glucose homeostasis. In this review, we describe the possible influence of endocrinal changes with age on sarcopenic obesity.