Sarcopenia is a degenerative condition in the body characterized by the loss and function of muscle mass. (1) Sarcopenia is found most often in older population groups with the following primary symptoms: loss of muscle mass, loss of strength, and decreased quality of life. (2) It is worth noting that sarcopenia has been described in the literature as a condition that often accompanies bone loss and osteoporosis due to the intimate relationship between muscle and bone. (3)  

This protocol is designed for patients who are experiencing early-stage sarcopenia. It may also be useful in conditions related to bone loss, such as osteoporosis. It is primarily designed to provide the patient with sufficient nutrition for the function of muscle and bone. General lifestyle changes are recommended to accompany the supplement and dietary changes and may be necessary to provide the most positive patient outcomes. (4)

Supplement and dietary recommendations

Please refer to supplement notes and alternatives found below. 

Morning: Before or with breakfast

  • 250-500mL water
  • 1 scoop AOR Advanced Whey Protein (yielding 22g protein)
  • 1 tsp AOR L-Glutamine
  • 1-3 capsules AOR Ortho-Core
  • 1 tbsp flaxseed oil

Afternoon: With lunch or between dinner

  • 250-500mL water
  • 1 scoop AOR Advanced Whey Protein (yielding 22g protein)
  • 1 tsp AOR L-Glutamine
  • 1-3 capsules AOR Ortho-Core
  • 1 tbsp flaxseed oil

Flaxseed oil alternatives:

  • No oil
  • Hemp seed oil
  • Pumpkin seed oil
  • Almond butter
  • Avocado

Additional recommendations:

  • Stay hydrated throughout the day.
  • Increase vegetable intake to provide needed electrolytes for muscle function such as potassium, magnesium, calcium, and sodium. The increased vegetable intake also serves to buffer acidity in the body to help with bone loss and increased protein consumption.

Advanced Whey Protein

Meeting an individual’s protein and nitrogen requirements is key to preserving and growing lean muscle mass. (5) A high-quality protein supplement such as AOR’s Advanced Whey Protein, also rich in the protein microfraction alpha-lactalbumin, serves as an excellent choice for a clean, high-quality source of protein. Vegans and patients who are dairy-free can substitute a clean, high-quality plant-based protein powder in its place.

L-Glutamine Powder

Glutamine deficiency may stimulate sarcopenia through a low-level inflammatory process. (6) Glutamine comprises 50-60% of the total free amino acid pool in skeletal muscle. (7) Glutamine supplementation provides an easy way to help restore this critical amino acid.

Ortho-Core

Vitamins and minerals are core to numerous processes governing amino acid synthesis, muscle, and immune function. Therefore a multivitamin is recommended to supply the necessary co-factors in these cellular processes. Ortho-Core also provides additional antioxidants such as N-acetyl cysteine, Coenzyme Q10, and R-Alpha Lipoic acid, which may be useful in reducing free radical damage and increasing ATP production.

Lifestyle modifications

The patient is advised to engage in appropriate physical activity daily. A general model for a basic progressive exercise program can be found below. The patient is recommended to seek professional guidance beyond Level 1.

Level 1:

  • Walking daily for 15-30 minutes

Level 2

  • Walking daily for 15-30 minutes
  • Stretching and/or yoga 15-30 minutes, 3x per week

Level 3

  • Walking daily for 15-30 minutes
  • Stretching and/or yoga 15-30 minutes, 3x per week
  • Resistance training 15-30 minutes, 3x per week

Contraindications

Pre-existing kidney conditions

 

Disclaimer

The Fullscript Integrative Medical Advisory team has developed or collected these protocols from practitioners and supplier partners to help health care practitioners make decisions when building treatment plans. By adding this protocol to your Fullscript template library, you understand and accept that the recommendations in the protocol are for initial guidance and may not be appropriate for every patient.

View protocol in-app
References
  1. Fuggle, N., Shaw, S., Dennison, E., & Cooper, C. (2017). Sarcopenia. Best practice & research. Clinical rheumatology, 31(2), 218–242. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.berh.2017.11.007
  2. Fuggle, N., Shaw, S., Dennison, E., & Cooper, C. (2017). Sarcopenia. Best practice & research. Clinical rheumatology, 31(2), 218–242. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.berh.2017.11.007
  3. Reginster, J. Y., Beaudart, C., Buckinx, F., & Bruyère, O. (2016). Osteoporosis and sarcopenia: two diseases or one?. Current opinion in clinical nutrition and metabolic care, 19(1), 31–36. https://doi.org/10.1097/MCO.0000000000000230
  4. del Campo Cervantes, J.M., Macías Cervantes, M.H. & Monroy Torres, R. Effect of a Resistance Training Program on Sarcopenia and Functionality of the Older Adults Living in a Nursing Home. J Nutr Health Aging 23, 829–836 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12603-019-1261-3
  5. Paddon-Jones, D., & Rasmussen, B. B. (2009). Dietary protein recommendations and the prevention of sarcopenia. Current opinion in clinical nutrition and metabolic care, 12(1), 86–90. https://doi.org/10.1097/MCO.0b013e32831cef8b
  6. Meynial-Denis D. (2016). Glutamine metabolism in advanced age. Nutrition reviews, 74(4), 225–236. https://doi.org/10.1093/nutrit/nuv052
  7. Coqueiro, A. Y., Rogero, M. M., & Tirapegui, J. (2019). Glutamine as an Anti-Fatigue Amino Acid in Sports Nutrition. Nutrients, 11(4), 863. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11040863