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Journal of Aging Research
Volume 2012, Article ID 316943, 8 pages
Review Article

Rationale for Antioxidant Supplementation in Sarcopenia

1Dipartimento di Scienze Gerontologiche, Geriatriche e Fisiatriche, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Largo Francesco Vito 1, 00168 Roma, Italy
2Institut du Vieillissement, Université de Toulouse, 31000 Toulouse, France

Received 8 August 2011; Accepted 23 November 2011

Academic Editor: Dominique Meynial-Denis

Copyright © 2012 Francesco Cerullo 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 an age-related clinical condition characterized by the progressive loss of motor units and wasting of muscle fibers resulting in decreased muscle function. The molecular mechanisms leading to sarcopenia are not completely identified, but the increased oxidative damage occurring in muscle cells during the course of aging represents one of the most accepted underlying pathways. In fact, skeletal muscle is a highly oxygenated tissue and the generation of reactive oxygen species is particularly enhanced in both contracting and at rest conditions. It has been suggested that oral antioxidant supplementation may contribute at reducing indices of oxidative stress both in animal and human models by reinforcing the natural endogenous defenses. Aim of the present paper is to discuss present evidence related to possible benefits of oral antioxidants in the prevention and treatment of sarcopenia.