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Anorexia of Aging: A Modifiable Risk Factor for Frailty
Open AccessReview

IGF-1, the Cross Road of the Nutritional, Inflammatory and Hormonal Pathways to Frailty

Geriatric Rehabilitation Department, University Hospital of Parma, Via Gramsci, 14, Parma (PR) 43126, Italy
Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Section of Geriatrics, Food Sciences Unit and Endocrinology of Aging Unit, University of Parma, Via Gramsci, 14, Parma (PR) 43126, Italy
Azienda USL Piacenza, Via Taverna, 49, Piacenza (PC) 23121, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Nutrients 2013, 5(10), 4184-4205;
Received: 3 July 2013 / Revised: 1 October 2013 / Accepted: 1 October 2013 / Published: 21 October 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutritional Influences on Age-Related Frailty)
PDF [408 KB, uploaded 21 October 2013]


The decline in functional capacity is a heterogeneous phenomenon in the elderly. An accelerated ageing determines a frail status. It results in an increased vulnerability to stressors for decreased physiological reserves. The early identification of a frail status is essential for preventing loss of functional capacity, and its clinical consequences. Frailty and mobility limitation result from an interplay of different pathways including multiple anabolic deficiency, inflammation, oxidative stress, and a poor nutritional status. However, the age-related decline in insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) bioactivity deserves special attention as it could represent the ideal crossroad of endocrine, inflammatory, and nutritional pathways to frailty. Several minerals, namely magnesium, selenium, and zinc, appear to be important determinants of IGF-1 bioactivity. This review aims to provide an overview of the potential usefulness of nutrients modulating IGF-1 as potential therapeutic targets in the prevention of mobility limitation occurring in frail older subjects. View Full-Text
Keywords: ageing; IGF-1; selenium; magnesium; zinc; micronutrients; frailty ageing; IGF-1; selenium; magnesium; zinc; micronutrients; frailty

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Maggio, M.; De Vita, F.; Lauretani, F.; Buttò, V.; Bondi, G.; Cattabiani, C.; Nouvenne, A.; Meschi, T.; Dall'Aglio, E.; Ceda, G.P. IGF-1, the Cross Road of the Nutritional, Inflammatory and Hormonal Pathways to Frailty. Nutrients 2013, 5, 4184-4205.

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