Alkaline Diet, Vitamins Halted Muscle Loss
Alkaline Diet, Vitamins Halted Muscle Loss. Having weaker, smaller muscles isn’t just a cosmetic problem for older people. It contributes to countless deaths and suffering in the elderly, too, because it puts them at high risk for falls and fractures. Mainstream medicine has long asserted that significant muscle loss is inevitable as you age, although exercise can help some.
What’s more, muscle loss (technically called sarcopenia) doesn’t just strike all of a sudden when you are extremely old, either. Muscle loss can start in your 30s. In a new article published in Today’s Dietician, Becky Dorner, RD, and Mary Ellen Posthauer, RD, note that, “between the ages of 30 and 60, the average adult will gain 1lb of weight and lose 1/2 lb of muscle yearly, a total gain of 30 lbs of fat and a loss of 15 lbs of muscle.”
Although significant muscle loss may sound like a depressing part of aging, that is simply the fate of aging humans, there may be ways to stop it. Weight bearing exercise has long been known to benefit muscle strength but it turns out nutritional changes could be a key to avoiding and even reversing muscle loss due to age. A study published in the Osteoporosis International journal concludes that dietary strategies could be effective in halting muscle mass loss.
Numerous Studies Reviewed
The review of numerous worldwide studies by the International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF) Nutrition Working Group identified these important nutritional factors shown to be not only likely beneficial to the prevention and maintenance of muscle mass but to the treatment of sarcopenia, as well:
Avoiding dietary acid loads. Excess intake of acid-producing nutrients (meat and cereal grains) and a low intake of alkalizing fruits and vegetables appear to have negative effects on the body’s muscles and skeleton. The researchers noted that eating more fruits and vegetables should benefit both bones and muscles.
Protein. Adequate protein plays an integral part in muscle health. However, getting this protein from meat could be counter-productive because it raises the acidity of the body, possibly negatively impacting muscle mass.
Vitamin D. Many studies have indicated a role for vitamin D in building health in a host of ways – including the development and preservation of muscle mass and function. This study recommends getting adequate vitamin D through exposure to sunlight and/or supplements.
Vitamin B12 and/or folic acid. The IOF researchers say more research is needed on these vitamins but they appear to play a role in improving muscle function and strength. In addition, the scientists are calling for more studies to see if antioxidants can potential prevent and treat sarcopenia, too.
“The most obvious intervention against sarcopenia is exercise in the form of resistance training,” Professor Jean-Philippe Bonjour, co-author of the paper and Professor of Medicine at the University of Geneva, said in a press statement. “However, adequate nutritional intake and an optimal dietary acid-base balance are also very important elements of any strategy to preserve muscle mass and strength during aging.”
This study also said, “A loss of fast twitch fibers, glycation of proteins, and insulin resistance may play an important role in the loss of muscle strength and development of sarcopenia.” The role of dietary acid loads on health remain under-studied, however, research such as this suggests it is important to increase alkalizing, very-low-glycemic foods, such as vegetables and some fruits, while reducing acidifying foods such as meats and grains. This is exactly what the Health-e-Solutions lifestyle endeavors to achieve.
Balance is the key to great health. One of the many impressive balancing acts that occur in the body on a continuous basis is the creation of acid by metabolic processes, countered by the neutralization of acid by alkaline buffers. This determines the pH of the body.
Unfortunately, most of the foods that you eat today are acid-forming such as processed food, most bottled goods, fats, oils, sugars, bakery goods, cereals and most cooked, fried and baked goods. The typical western diet consists of about 80 percent acidic foods and only about 20 percent alkaline foods when most likely you should be eating exactly the opposite – 80 percent alkaline foods and only 20 percent acidic foods.
You CAN impact your long term health and well-being, by changing your diet and lifestyle. Log in to your Health-e-Solutions free member account to access this free special report, which discusses one of the primary food filters for the Health-e-Solutions lifestyle to master diabetes in the healthiest way possible.
- Impact of nutrition on muscle mass, strength, and performance in older adults. A. Mithal & J.-P. Bonjour & S. Boonen & P. Burckhardt & H. Degens & G. El Hajj Fuleihan & R. Josse & P. Lips & J. Morales Torres & R. Rizzoli & N. Yoshimura & D. A. Wahl & C. Cooper & B. Dawson-Hughes & for the IOF CSA Nutrition Working Group. Osteoporos Int DOI 10.1007/s00198-012-2236-y. http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00198-012-2236-y