In the year 2000, globally 600 million people were above the age of 60. It is forecasted that by the year of 2025, 1.2 billion people will be 60 years of age and above and by 2050 this number will rise to 2 billion. 1,2 Therefore, the senior demographic is not only increasing on an annual basis but is also increasing exponentially on a global scale making this one of the most challenging demographic events to have taken place. As the ageing population continues to increase, it becomes imperative to not only consider lifestyle but also health span. Thus, the ultimate goal is to identify dietary strategies, lifestyle changes and treatments that can manage and more importantly, prevent the onset of geriatric diseases, hence stabilize rising healthcare costs leading to an improved quality of life. 1,2
In order to implement appropriate intervention strategies, it is important to understand the process of ageing. As one ages, a combination of physiological, psychological and social changes occur which lead to a loss in appetite. With age, some of the major changes include hormonal changes, a compromised immunity resulting in a higher prevalence of illness and disease, an adoption of a more sedentary lifestyle which is associated with long term negative implications on body and the mind as well as an increased level of stress. A combination of all these changes results in a loss of appetite which in turn causes micro and macro deficiencies. One such deficiency that is commonly observed is that of protein and if this is prolonged, muscle wasting occurs which leads to loss of muscular protein. This condition is known as Sarcopenia. Sarcopenia comes from the Greek work “Sarcos” meaning flesh and “penia” meaning lack of. This age related decline in lean body mass can affect ambulation, mobility and functional independence (Morley et al. 2001).
Currently it is estimated that more than 50 million individuals are affected by sarcopenia but in next 40 years, around 400 million people will have this condition making it a worldwide pandemic.3 Some symptoms of sarcopenia include muscle shrinkage, loss of strength, fatigue and an increased likelihood of injuries, morbidities and disabilities. Sarcopenia not only affects overall health but also significantly lowers quality of life. 3,4,5
The role of nutrition is essential when it comes to preventing and managing sarcopenia and numerous studies have concluded that dietary intake of protein and specific amino acids can support the elderly who suffer from sarcopenia.5 It has been found that the protein requirements of the elderly are actually more than of younger people and therefore should be higher than is often recommended. 6-8 A high quality of protein has shown to be required to stimulate muscle protein synthesis and result in optimal health. 9-15 Essential amino acids, especially the branched chain amino acid leucine has been noted to be a potent stimulator of muscle protein synthesis and has been extensively studied due to its anti-catabolic properties. 16-19
At Glanbia Nutritionals, the vision we have set for ourselves is to be one of the world’s top performing nutrition companies that is trusted to enrich lives every day through delivering better nutrition for every step of life’s journey. Based on this, a major focus for us has been on developing specific solutions for healthy ageing. Through understanding the current markets evolving needs, Glanbia Nutritionals uses advanced processing technologies and scientific expertise to manufacture various protein and bioactive solutions that are clinically validated and specifically designed to cater towards the aging population. These solutions fulfil protein and specific amino acid requirements that not only manage and prevent the onset of sarcopenia, but also look at optimizing health and wellness to lead an active lifestyle.
Glanbia Nutritionals Product Range
In terms of specific protein offerings for the elderly, Glanbia Nutritionals has the following products:
Salibra is a superior whey protein concentrate produced using a selective transfer membrane system to target beneficial bioactive components from whey protein. The beneficial bioactive components including lactoferrin, immunoglobulins and phosphotidylcholine. This product not only ensures a high quality protein content but also naturally occurring bioactives to support immunity and cognition.
Protherma is an agglomerated hydrolysed whey protein designed for use in hot ready to mix beverages including coffee, tea, soup and porridges. This protein option is stable and soluble and offers a new alternative to protein beverages making it a convenient way to increase protein through conventional hot beverages.
WheyXR is a whey protein concentrate that is modified to have an extended release of amino acids. The slower digestion rate is due to the larger molecular size which allows a prolonged release of amino acids to muscle prolonging the anabolic state of protein synthesis.
Amino Acid for the Elderly
In terms of specific amino acid offerings for the elderly:
Aminoblast is a technology for conditioning BCAAs which improve overall functionality in application. BCAA’s activate MTOR pathway which then activates muscle synthesis.
Improves solubility and utilization of amino acids. Pepform BCAA and Pepform Leucine are able to start muscle synthesis in the elderly whereas Pepform Tryptophan aids better, restful sleep and therefore allows better cognitive performance the next day.
The most recent product Glanbia Nutritionals offers in the healthy ageing portfolio is AdvanPro™. AdvanPro™ is a clinically validated low dose protein solution containing milk protein and bioactive leucine. This ingredient has shown to elicit similar muscle protein synthesis to a 25 g dose of whey protein isolate. Given the lower appetite of the elderly and high requirement of quality protein, this product is apt in serving the purpose of increasing muscles in the body.
As the ageing demographic is increasing exponentially, it is imperative to consider longevity and quality of life. Muscle loss is inevitable with ageing due to a combination of factors; however a prolonged loss of muscle mass can result in sarcopenia and have many adverse effects on health and quality of life. 20-23 Glanbia Nutritionals offers various bioactive solutions that are specifically crafted to cater towards elderly health which aim to optimize health, wellness and fitness in the later stages of life.
To learn more about our products please contact us.