In 2010, the European Working Group on Sarcopenia in Older People (EWGSOP) published a sarcopenia definition that aimed to foster advances in identifying and caring for people with sarcopenia.

In early 2018, the Working Group met again (EWGSOP2) to update the original definition in order to reflect scientific and clinical evidence that has built over the last decade.

This paper presents the updated findings.

Age Ageing. 2018 Oct 12. doi: 10.1093/ageing/afy169. [Epub ahead of print]

Sarcopenia: revised European consensus on definition and diagnosis.

Cruz-Jentoft AJ1, Bahat G2, Bauer J3, Boirie Y4, Bruyère O5, Cederholm T6, Cooper C7, Landi F8, Rolland Y9, Sayer AA10, Schneider SM11, Sieber CC12, Topinkova E13, Vandewoude M14, Visser M15, Zamboni M16; Writing Group for the European Working Group on Sarcopenia in Older People 2 (EWGSOP2), and the Extended Group for EWGSOP2.

BIA has application in geriatric medicine for diagnosing sarcopenia and measuring the effects of treatments on skeletal muscle mass

Effects of a vitamin D and leucine-enriched whey protein nutritional supplement on measures of sarcopenia in older adults, the PROVIDE Study: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial
JM Bauer, S Verlaan, I Bautmans, K Brandt, LM Donini, M Maggio, MET McMurdo, T Mets, C Seal, SL Wijers, GP Ceda, G De Vito, G Donders, M Drey, C Greig, U Holmbäck, M Narici, J McPhee, E Poggiogalle, D Power, A Scafoglieri, R Schultz, CC Sieber and T Cederholm
J Am Med Dir Assoc. 2015 Sep 1; 16(9):740-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jamda.2015.05.021

The PROVIDE Study was a double-blind randomized controlled trial that compared nutritional supplementation to placebo in non-protein-energy malnourished, sarcopenic older participants with mobility limitations. Participants were recruited from 18 study centers in six European countries: Belgium, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. At entry, skeletal muscle mass was classified as normal or as class I or II sarcopenia based on results of bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA 101, Akern).

302 participants completed all three study visits. A 13-week oral intervention of vitamin D and leucine-enriched whey protein improved muscle mass and lower-extremity function compared to placebo.  “The active group alone achieved a higher total protein intake of 1.5 g/kg per day, which is in line with recent PROT-AGE and European Society for Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism recommendations for geriatric patients (1.2–1.5 g/kg per day). Beyond protein quantity, quality and timing of the protein supplementation are also considered crucial determinants for retention of muscle mass and function”

This study shows proof-of-principle that specific nutritional supplementation alone can benefit geriatric patients, especially those who are unable to exercise. These results warrant further investigations into the role of a specific nutritional supplement as part of a multimodal approach to prevent adverse outcomes among older adults at risk for disability. As the authors explained, “Adults older than 70 years lose on average 5% to 10% of their muscle mass per decade. The approximate gain of 1% total appendicular muscle mass that we observed after 13 weeks of intervention would translate, therefore, into saving 1 to 2 years of muscle mass decline.”

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