Sarcopenia is defined as the loss of muscle, fat free mass (FFM), and loss of strength experienced by men and women as they age. This is usually coupled with an increase in body fat. This change in our body resulting partly from a decline in testosterone and GH levels results in an increased risk for injury and also metabolic disease. Testosterone plays a role in restoring glycogen and increasing nitrogen in muscle tissue; both processes are important for the maintenance of muscle. When testosterone declines so does the ability to support muscle.
Men and women start Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT) for different reasons, all commonly diagnosed as having some degree of hypogonadism with symptoms. One thing is certain, TRT will help slow down (prevent) sarcopenia during the aging process. When low testosterone is properly restored in older men and women with existing sarcopenia they can experience a reversal of symptoms and improved quality of life. Incorporating strength training and a high protein/low glycemic diet will result in the opposite of sacropenia- a decrease in body fat with an increase in muscle and strength.
A paper titled "Anabolic Interventions for Age-Associated Sarcopenia" discusses how sarcopenia is influenced by hormones, nutrition, and excersise. The authors examine some clinical data regarding specific hormones, nutritional supplements and their effect on body composition. The full paper in PDF is available for free in the Defy Medical clinical study archive- Contact us to receive access. The paper was written in 1999 and since then there has been more data collected regarding the anabolic effects of testosterone on body composition.
Preventing and Reversing Sarcopenia can prolong lifespan
Interestingly, another paper shows that people who have more muscle and less fat live longer lives. Not to mention a better quality of life. The study is titled "Muscle Mass Index As a Predictor of Longevity in Older Adults" and is also available for free by requesting a copy.
" Aging is associated with significant reductions in fat free mass, and an increase in adiposity. The principal component of the decline in fat free mass is a decrease in muscle mass due to a reduction in muscle protein content and synthesis rates. The loss of FFM is associated with loss of muscle strength and function and with increased disability and mortality (6). The body composition changes in old age are multifactorial and may be related to the concomitant changes in hormone production, protein turnover, and disuse atrophy. The evidence to support the use of testosterone or GH supplementation in age-related sarcopenia is only beginning to be presented"
"The age-associated changes in body composition result from lower levels of anabolic hormones, neuromuscular alterations, and a general decline in muscle protein turnover (1–3). The frailty of old age has emerged as an important public health problem because it impairs mobility and quality of life and increases the risk of falls and the use of health care resources (4–6). Therefore, recent years have witnessed a growing interest in the use of anabolic interventions for augmenting muscle mass and function in older men"