Skeletal muscle aging is characterized by decline in skeletal muscle mass and function with growing age, which consequently leads to age-related sarcopenia, if without any preventive timely treatment through appropriate nutrition and exercise. Due to its association with many serious consequences like fractures, falls and disability, age-related sarcopenia results in reduced quality of life and independence(Liao, Yuxiao et al., 2019)
A study, published in the Aging and Disease journal in 2019, discusses the role of gender differences and sex hormones in skeletal muscle and age-related sarcopenia, and how the gut microbiota affects the utilization of whey protein and/or resistance training against sarcopenia.
After a 3-year follow-up observation, the elder, community-dwelling adults in the highest quintile of whey protein (WP) intake kept nearly 40% more lean mass and lean mass than those with the lowest quintile.
Protein supplementation showed promise in the prevention and treatment of obesity and type 2 diabetes in both human and animals models. In addition, several studies have shown that WP also plays a positive role in blood pressure control, anti-inflammation and anti-oxidative stress.
It was also noted that muscle atrophy may affect several other physical functions such as regulation of glucose and production of hormones, and negatively influences the recovery from diseases in need of large protein reservoir, elevating risk of mortality.
This review concluded that sex hormone deficiency would contribute to the development of sarcopenia in males and females later in life. It also proposes that gut microbiota may be crucial for the effectiveness of whey protein and/or resistance training against sarcopenia.