Authors:A Molnár, I Jónásné Sztruhár, ÁA Csontos, Cs Ferencz, Sz Várbíró and B Székács
Progressive loss of muscle mass and strength is a physiological consequence of aging, and without interventions, it usually deteriorates into sarcopenia. In this study, the hypothesis that combined special nutritional–physiotherapeutical intervention to prevent or reverse this biological deterioration in elderly people was tested. The effects of the regular resistance muscle training (PT, n = 17) alone and the combined exercise + special nutrition therapy containing whey protein and vitamin D (PT + NT, n = 17) were monitored for 3 months in 34 elderly patients (12 men and 22 women; mean age: 66.47 years) randomly distributed into two groups at a long-term care facility. Physical exercise alone did not result in significant improvement in skeletal muscle mass or strength, whereas combined intervention significantly increased the muscle strength (22.51 ± 2.35 vs. 24.54 ± 2.65, ± SEM, kg, p = 0.027). When therapeutic responses to the intervention were compared, a significant advantage of PT + NT over PT was found. The same trend was found when the non-significant post-therapeutic alterations (χ2 test) of the distribution of normal vs. pre-sarcopenic + sarcopenic conditions within the two groups were compared. Combined intervention (PT + NT) is necessary for the efficient protection of the musculature in the high-risk elderly patients.