Next Article in Journal / Special Issue
Potential Roles of n-3 PUFAs during Skeletal Muscle Growth and Regeneration
Previous Article in Journal
Higher Dietary Magnesium Intake and Higher Magnesium Status Are Associated with Lower Prevalence of Coronary Heart Disease in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes
Previous Article in Special Issue
Nutrition in the Very Old
Article Menu
Issue 3 (March) cover image

Export Article

Open AccessFeature PaperReview
Nutrients 2018, 10(3), 308;

Diet Quality and Sarcopenia in Older Adults: A Systematic Review

MRC Lifecourse Epidemiology Unit, University of Southampton, Southampton General Hospital, Southampton SO16 6YD, UK
NIHR Southampton Biomedical Research Centre, University of Southampton and University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust, Southampton SO16 6YD, UK
NIHR Musculoskeletal Biomedical Research Unit, University of Oxford, Oxford OX3 7LE, UK
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 29 January 2018 / Revised: 1 March 2018 / Accepted: 2 March 2018 / Published: 5 March 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition and Ageing)
Full-Text   |   PDF [453 KB, uploaded 5 March 2018]   |  


The increasing recognition of sarcopenia, the age-related loss of skeletal muscle mass and function (muscle strength and physical performance), as a determinant of poor health in older age, has emphasized the importance of understanding more about its aetiology to inform strategies both for preventing and treating this condition. There is growing interest in the effects of modifiable factors such as diet; some nutrients have been studied but less is known about the influence of overall diet quality on sarcopenia. We conducted a systematic review of the literature examining the relationship between diet quality and the individual components of sarcopenia, i.e., muscle mass, muscle strength and physical performance, and the overall risk of sarcopenia, among older adults. We identified 23 studies that met review inclusion criteria. The studies were diverse in terms of the design, setting, measures of diet quality, and outcome measurements. A small body of evidence suggested a relationship between “healthier” diets and better muscle mass outcomes. There was limited and inconsistent evidence for a link between “healthier” diets and lower risk of declines in muscle strength. There was strong and consistent observational evidence for a link between “healthier” diets and lower risk of declines in physical performance. There was a small body of cross-sectional evidence showing an association between “healthier” diets and lower risk of sarcopenia. This review provides observational evidence to support the benefits of diets of higher quality for physical performance among older adults. Findings for the other outcomes considered suggest some benefits, although the evidence is either limited in its extent (sarcopenia) or inconsistent/weak in its nature (muscle mass, muscle strength). Further studies are needed to assess the potential of whole-diet interventions for the prevention and management of sarcopenia. View Full-Text
Keywords: ageing; diet quality; muscle; older people; physical function; sarcopenia ageing; diet quality; muscle; older people; physical function; sarcopenia

Figure 1

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

Supplementary material


Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Bloom, I.; Shand, C.; Cooper, C.; Robinson, S.; Baird, J. Diet Quality and Sarcopenia in Older Adults: A Systematic Review. Nutrients 2018, 10, 308.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Nutrients EISSN 2072-6643 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top