Muscle Mass Decreases As You Age
I've seen it, you've seen it, the community sees it! The older you get, and often when you are following a diet for weight loss, the more frail you appear to become, and also the risk of falls increases as you age. It's a known fact that for every decade you age past 30 years of age, your muscle mass decreases
Well, I for one am not going to fall into that category!! As I rush towards the age group of being post-menopausal, yes next year in fact, I am doing all that I can to ensure that my muscle mass remains high, and strong.
So, what am I doing? To begin with three main things:
- Exercise, weight bearing of course (lifting weights)
- Good nutrition (ensuring I get enough protein in my diet, balanced with all the other good stuff)
- Adding Vitamin D3 to my supplement regime.
The first two (exercise and diet) have been written about to ensure maintenance of your muscle mass by many authors, and has been shown to be of benefit scientifically too.
The third piece of information on Vitamin D3 is of interest too. From the Isagenix Health website, this following article shows why Vitamin D3 is now believed to be of benefit in maintaining muscle mass.
"One of the hard facts of aging is that with every decade of life starting around age 30, muscle mass beings to decrease. If not remedied with good nutrition and regular exercise, this loss of both muscle mass and muscle function may eventually lead to frailty. However, a new study has revealed that vitamin D3 can assist aging women in fighting to retain muscle.
Findings from this study, performed by Brazilian researchers and presented at the 2015 Annual Meeting of the Northern American Menopause Society, showed that vitamin D supplementation in postmenopausal women can significantly increase muscle strength while reducing the loss of muscle mass.
Despite the body’s ability to make vitamin D using sunlight, postmenopausal women around the world are commonly deficient in the nutrient, leading to muscle weakness and a greater risk of falling.
With this in mind, researchers decided to put vitamin D to the test: They designed a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial that would evaluate the success of administering 1,000 IU of vitamin D3 per day for nine months to women aged 50 to 65. The study would determine whether an added dosage of vitamin D would help strengthen muscle and aid in preventing these women from falling.
The study’s results showed that vitamin D3 supplementation was associated with a significant increase of about 25 percent in muscle strength, as determined by handgrip strength and through a chair-raising test. In comparison, those in the placebo group actually lost an average of almost 7 percent of muscle mass and were nearly twice as likely to fall.
The researchers concluded that vitamin D supplementation alone helped to provide significant protection against the risk for sarcopenia, which is age-related muscle loss.
These results add to a growing body of evidence from epidemiological studies and clinical trials showing that vitamin D plays a very important role in muscle health and that the current Recommended Dietary Intakes, especially for the elderly, are largely inadequate for long-term health. For this reason, researchers and physicians alike are increasingly suggesting vitamin D supplementation to help support muscle health and maintenance to combat the frailty that often accompanies old age."
I was interested to notice that the placebo group lost an average of almost 7% muscle mass. As I have followed an effective weight loss regime, my muscle mass has not decreased, and in fact, I have gained muscles that have not gone away while maintaining my weight. Great news as I head towards 50, fast!
Are you working towards retaining your muscle mass?