How does muscle health change with age?


Muscle health undergoes significant changes as we age. Here are the key points covered by trusted experts:

  1. Decrease in Muscle Mass and Function: As we age, we experience a natural decline in muscle mass and function, a condition known as sarcopenia. This leads to decreased strength and can affect quality of life [1].

  2. Anabolic Resistance: From our 30s onward, there can be a reduction in the body's ability to utilize dietary proteins efficiently, known as anabolic resistance. This means even with adequate protein intake, older individuals may not synthesize muscle effectively [1].

  3. Rapid Muscle Loss During Reduced Activity: Older adults lose muscle mass much faster than younger people during periods of reduced activity such as bed rest. For example, an older adult might lose significantly more muscle mass within a week of inactivity compared to a younger individual [2].

  4. Impact of Resistance Training: Engaging in resistance training can mitigate some of these age-related changes by helping maintain muscle mass and function. It also has beneficial effects on metabolism and can help reduce the risk of chronic diseases associated with age [3].

    Understanding Muscle Aging

    Dr. Gabrielle Lyon discusses the physiological changes that occur in skeletal muscle as we age, including a decrease in muscle mass and function. She emphasizes the importance of maintaining muscle for longevity, starting as early as our 30s, and highlights the concept of anabolic resistance, which affects the body's ability to utilize dietary proteins.

    The Neuro Experience with Louisa Nicola

    134: Muscle Centric Medicine for Longevity and Brain Health | Dr. Gabrielle Lyon, DO
  5. Metabolic Consequences: The loss of muscle mass in older adults can lead to metabolic problems, such as increased blood glucose and insulin resistance, particularly when physical activity is lacking [2].

These insights emphasize the importance of maintaining muscle health through regular physical activity, especially resistance training, as we age.