Sarcopenia, a common clinical syndrome in older adults, is defined as decreased muscle mass, strength, and physical performance. Since sarcopenia is associated with the incidence of functional decline, falls, and even mortality in older adults, researchers and health care providers have been keen to accumulate clinical evidence to advocate the screening and prevention of sarcopenia progression in older adults. The factors that may accelerate the loss of muscle mass and function include chronic diseases, inactivity, and deficiency in appropriate nutritional support. Among these, nutritional support is considered an initial step to delay the progression of muscle wasting and improve physical performance in community-dwelling older adults. However, a nationwide study suggested that most Korean older adults do not consume sufficient dietary protein to maintain their muscle mass. Furthermore, considering age-associated anabolic resistance to dietary protein, higher protein intake should be emphasized in older adults than in younger people. To develop a dietary protein recommendation for older adults in Korea, we reviewed the relevant literature, including interventional studies from Korea. From these, we recommend that older adults consume at least 1.2 g of protein per kg of body weight per day (g/ kg/day) to delay the progression of muscle wasting. The amount we recommend (1.2 g/ kg/day) is 31.4% higher than the previously suggested recommended daily allowance (i.e., 0.91 g/kg/day) for the general population of Korea. Also, evidence to date suggests that the combination of exercise and nutritional support may enhance the beneficial effects of protein intake in older adults in Korea. We found that the current studies are insufficient to build population-based guidelines for older adults, and we call for further researches in Korea.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2018 by The Korean Geriatric Society.
- Older people