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Dietary Patterns, Skeletal Muscle Health, and Sarcopenia in Older Adults

AGE Research Group, Institute of Neuroscience, The Medical School, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne NE2 4HH, UK
NIHR Newcastle Biomedical Research Centre, Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Newcastle University, Campus for Ageing and Vitality, Newcastle upon Tyne NE4 5PL, UK
Institute for Ageing, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne NE2 4AX, UK
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2019, 11(4), 745;
Received: 11 March 2019 / Revised: 24 March 2019 / Accepted: 26 March 2019 / Published: 30 March 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dietary Patterns and Human Health)
PDF [883 KB, uploaded 30 March 2019]


In recent decades, the significance of diet and dietary patterns (DPs) for skeletal muscle health has been gaining attention in ageing and nutritional research. Sarcopenia, a muscle disease characterised by low muscle strength, mass, and function is associated with an increased risk of functional decline, frailty, hospitalization, and death. The prevalence of sarcopenia increases with age and leads to high personal, social, and economic costs. Finding adequate nutritional measures to maintain muscle health, preserve function, and independence for the growing population of older adults would have important scientific and societal implications. Two main approaches have been employed to study the role of diet/DPs as a modifiable lifestyle factor in sarcopenia. An a priori or hypothesis-driven approach examines the adherence to pre-defined dietary indices such as the Mediterranean diet (MED) and Healthy Eating Index (HEI)—measures of diet quality—in relation to muscle health outcomes. A posteriori or data-driven approaches have used statistical tools—dimension reduction methods or clustering—to study DP-muscle health relationships. Both approaches recognise the importance of the whole diet and potential cumulative, synergistic, and antagonistic effects of foods and nutrients on ageing muscle. In this review, we have aimed to (i) summarise nutritional epidemiology evidence from four recent systematic reviews with updates from new primary studies about the role of DPs in muscle health, sarcopenia, and its components; (ii) hypothesise about the potential mechanisms of ‘myoprotective’ diets, with the MED as an example, and (iii) discuss the challenges facing nutritional epidemiology to produce the higher level evidence needed to understand the relationships between whole diets and healthy muscle ageing. View Full-Text
Keywords: dietary patterns; nutrition; ‘myoprotective’ diet; Mediterranean diet; sarcopenia; muscle strength; muscle mass; muscle function; older adults dietary patterns; nutrition; ‘myoprotective’ diet; Mediterranean diet; sarcopenia; muscle strength; muscle mass; muscle function; older adults

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Granic, A.; Sayer, A.A.; Robinson, S.M. Dietary Patterns, Skeletal Muscle Health, and Sarcopenia in Older Adults. Nutrients 2019, 11, 745.

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