Sarcopenia is the name given to the age-related loss of muscle mass and strength. There are many potential causes of this decline with at least some supporting evidence in the scientific literature. The most compelling are those related to loss of stem cell function, but there is also the question of whether or not older individuals lose the ability to process dietary proteins to produce new muscle tissue. In particular dysfunction in processing of the essential amino acid leucine is a possible mechanism, and some groups have considered dietary leucine supplementation as a possible compensatory treatment. The open access paper here ties in recent findings regarding age-related changes in the microbial populations of the gut to the issue of protein processing in aging. It is by no means settled as to whether or not all of this will fit together sufficiently well to explain a significant fraction of sarcopenia, but it is certainly an active area of research.
Sarcopenia is a geriatric syndrome defined as the age-related loss of skeletal muscle mass and function, quantified by objective measures of muscle mass, strength, and
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