Muscle-Wasting In the Aging Adult

Sarcopenia is the loss of muscle tissue in the aging adult affecting mass, strength, and function.  This tissue loss may have a greater impact in an individual than even bone loss.  It appears after the age of 40 and accelerates after about 75.  It may be expected to be seen in the inactive adult, but it is also seen in life-long physically active people.  So while remaining active is essential to avoiding sarcopenia, there are other contributing factors such as decreased hormone levels, lack of protein, oxidative stress and disease.   Another factor is nutritional; namely creatine deficiency.

The fast-twitch muscle fiber recritied during high-intensity, low-endurance movements such as weight lifting and sprinting are mostly affected by creatine deficiency.  There is plenty of research found to support that creatine in supplemental form can improve some of the physiological changes in aging.

After exercise, free radical production increases, a potentially negative effect if the body can’t manage them.  Creatine may help modulate inflammation due to some anti-inflammatory properties by reducing cell damage caused by exercise.

One of the most profound ways creatine affects individuals is improving the cell’s ability to raising ATP status in the mitochondria thus resulting in improved energy.  In vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike, creatine has been shown to improve brain function in healthy adults.  It may work better when combined with other nutrients such as chromium and alpha lipoic acid.

Usual dosages range from 2-3 grams in the healthy adult and those with muscle loss or brain injury may benefit from 5-10 grams per day.  A good source is often found in whey products.


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