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Nutritional Status as a Mediator of Fatigue and Its Underlying Mechanisms in Older People

1
Geriatric Unit, Fondazione IRCCS Ca’ Granda Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, 20122 Milan, Italy
2
Department of Clinical Sciences and Community Health, University of Milan, 20122 Milan, Italy
3
Fondazione Policlinico Universitario “Agostino Gemelli” IRCCS, 00168 Rome, Italy
4
Institute of Internal Medicine and Geriatrics, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, 00168 Rome, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2020, 12(2), 444; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12020444
Received: 7 January 2020 / Revised: 5 February 2020 / Accepted: 6 February 2020 / Published: 10 February 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrients and Brain across the Lifespan)
Fatigue is an often-neglected symptom but frequently complained of by older people, leading to the inability to continue functioning at a normal level of activity. Fatigue is frequently associated with disease conditions and impacts health status and quality of life. Yet, fatigue cannot generally be completely explained as a consequence of a single disease or pathogenetic mechanism. Indeed, fatigue mirrors the exhaustion of the physiological reserves of an older individual. Despite its clinical relevance, fatigue is typically underestimated by healthcare professionals, mainly because reduced stamina is considered to be an unavoidable corollary of aging. The incomplete knowledge of pathophysiological mechanisms of fatigue and the lack of a gold standard tool for its assessment contribute to the poor appreciation of fatigue in clinical practice. Inadequate nutrition is invoked as one of the mechanisms underlying fatigue. Modifications in food intake and body composition changes seem to influence the perception of fatigue, probably through the mechanisms of inflammation and/or mitochondrial dysfunction. Here, we present an overview on the mechanisms that may mediate fatigue levels in old age, with a special focus on nutrition. View Full-Text
Keywords: exhaustion; aging; nutrition; sarcopenia; frailty; aging; mitochondria; inflammation; cytokines exhaustion; aging; nutrition; sarcopenia; frailty; aging; mitochondria; inflammation; cytokines
MDPI and ACS Style

Azzolino, D.; Arosio, B.; Marzetti, E.; Calvani, R.; Cesari, M. Nutritional Status as a Mediator of Fatigue and Its Underlying Mechanisms in Older People. Nutrients 2020, 12, 444.

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