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With age, this eating habit could lead to a loss of muscle mass and early death

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Manish Saini
Manish works as a Journalist and writer at Revyuh.com. He has studied Political Science and graduated from Delhi University. He is a Political engineer, fascinated by politics, and traditional businesses. He is also attached to many NGO's in the country and helping poor children to get the basic education. Email: Manish (at) revyuh (dot) com

Muscle mass naturally decreases with age.

A new study published in Scientific Reports found that a radical diet, which restricts the amount of nutrients a person consumes on a regular basis, can contribute to a decrease in muscle mass as one ages.

This is critical since muscle mass normally declines as people age. Sarcopenia is defined as age-related atrophic degenerative changes in skeletal muscles that result in a progressive loss of muscle mass and strength.

In this study, the researchers looked at 1,211 people over the age of 65 in Singapore.

They discovered that a number of factors, including socioeconomic status and significant chronic conditions, contribute to weight loss, but inadequate food intake is particularly noticeable.

This could be due in part to “anorexia of aging,” or a change of appetite that causes a reduction in food consumption. When this happens, the elderly may not acquire the nutrients they require, resulting in a rapid loss of muscle mass.

Maintaining muscle mass through measures like regular exercise and a nutrient-dense diet can improve not only your general function but also your chances of living longer.

According to a study published in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research, muscle mass reduction may be associated with earlier death.

For almost four years, the researchers followed a sample of 839 men and women over the age of 65, tracking their body composition by scanning bone density over time. They took into account “appendicular muscle mass,” which refers to the muscles in the arms and legs, as well as subcutaneous and visceral fat.

The findings revealed that women with low appendicular mass were 63 times more likely to die prematurely than those with larger arm and leg muscle mass. Men with a modest appendicular mass had an 11-fold increased chance of dying early.

Muscle mass aids in the stabilization of the thighs and shoulders. You have a higher risk of fracture if your bone mineral density is low.

Hormonal changes associated may also play a role. Because estrogen drops sharply, it can have a negative effect on muscle mass, leading to loss of muscle mass, as well as a decrease in bone density and an increase in abdominal fat.

But sarcopenia is not inevitable, and it can even be corrected with lifestyle habits such as exercise, non-smoking and eating foods rich in nutrients. 

This advice is not only for middle-aged and older people – the earlier you start, the more muscle mass you will maintain with age.

Image Credit: Getty

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