What is Sarcopenia?
Most people have never heard of this condition, but as we hit the 50 year old threshold it slowly starts to know us.
As we hit the magic number of 60 it is now affecting roughly 30 % of us and the number grows bigger with each year as we walk through this experience of life in our senior years.
What is Sarcopenia will help walk you through exactly what this condition is, how you can slow it down, what it does to our bodies, and then lay out some ideas for you to try on your own.
There is however, one major theme surrounding this condition; your diet and nutrition.
In fact, close to 50% of all of us will be affected in some way sooner or later unless we take a proactive stance on it.
They key is however, once you take a stance, enact it.
OK-so what is Sarcopenia?
The Greek term for this challenging condition is “poverty of the flesh” and that term tells you most of what you need to know about the condition.
It affects your flesh in this way; it attacks your muscles.
However, it will not hit you all at once. Instead it will be a slow and gradual attack on your muscle mass that can and will lead to several conditions including
While this sounds alarming and you will say to yourself that will never happen to me, the statistics are against you unless you become proactive and you are over 50 years of age and reading this article.
Here are the numbers and the sources for these numbers will be listed below that you can check on for yourself.
Several studies have shown that the majority of us once we reach 30 years of age will begin to put on (1) one pound of weight, and in this process lose (1/2) one-half pound of body muscle every year.
While that does not sound too alarming, carry it out over the next 20 to 30 years and the following numbers will put it into perspective.
What it means is the vast majority of us will put on 30 pounds of fat and during this process lose 15 pounds of muscle.
Take a moment to reflect on that—we will gain and additional 15 pounds and have less muscle in out body to support that weight.
If by chance you are very heavy, the numbers become even worse.
We all know from first-hand experience watching our parents or another loved one that has been hospitalized or in a bed for long periods of time, they begin to experience severe physical declines.
However, if you fully understand exactly the question what is Sarcopenia, you have already taken the first step.
Now that you have a better understand of what is Sarcopenia, there are 2 very easy ways to become proactive as you being this aging process.
The first line of attack is from Vitamin D.
While it is universally known as the “sunshine vitamin” it is a huge mistake to assume that if you spend a lot of time outdoors you are naturally getting enough of this nutrient.
Known for its hormone-like compound it is essential in building and maintaining bone structure, and it is also critical for your cell tissues to remain healthy to prevent the loss of muscle.
However, another challenging factor is that Vitamin D is not found in a lot of foods.
While it is found in processed enriched foods, it is by far and away the single largest vitamin deficiency that all of us are facing as we enter into our senior years.
In fact, there is no other nutritional deficiency even a close second.
The deficiency of this nutrient hits all races, all nations, all income levels, and both men and women equally as it is that prevalent and wide spread.
However, the good news is that is very easy to supplement in pure Vitamin D form as well as D2 and D3.
The next form of proactive attack is with protein and making sure you are getting enough of it in your diet.
The numbers also show us that as we begin to age for some reason a majority of people over 50 years old back off on our protein intake.
Once this happens and we are getting enough protein on our diets, our blood amino acids do not react like the used to.
Protein stimulates our essential amino acids and regulates what is referred to as “protein synthesis”.
However, not all proteins are created equally.
OK, so what does that mean?
It simply means that plant based, while still good protein sources, do not have the same gram counts or the same amino acid profiles.
On the other hand, animal protein does not have anywhere near the phytonutrients, minerals, and vitamins that plants have.
Animal based proteins also have a lower ratio of both Omega 3 and 6 acids and have the fat or cholesterol issues a lot of us may be faced with or acting fighting now.
OK, so what is the point?
In answering the question what is Sarcopenia you have several options for protein but you must make sure you are getting enough in your diet to fight it.
The RDA, (recommended daily amount), for healthy adults is 0.8 grams per day.
There are also several very effective supplements you can take such as whey protein supplementation.
Sources of protein
While the list of Protein sources may not be all inclusive, it will give you some ideas on your fight to answer the question what is Sarcopenia?
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