The Underappreciated Role of Low Muscle Mass in the Management of Malnutrition

Publish Date: January 2019
Author(s): Nicolaas E.P. Deutz, Ione Ashurst, Maria D. Ballesteros, Danielle E. Bear, Alfonso J. Cruz-Jentoft, Laurence Genton, Francesco Landi, Alessandro Laviano, Kristina Norman, Carla M. Prado


This opinion article, published in Journal of American Medical Directors Association (JAMDA), addresses the role of muscle mass in improving health outcomes in a variety of disease states. It also offers strategies you can use to help patients manage low muscle mass and prevent muscle loss.

Specifically, the article:

  • Discusses the importance of muscle as a metabolic and homeostatic organ, in addition to being crucial for maintaining proper physical movement
  • Raises awareness of the need for timely identification of loss of skeletal muscle mass and function in high-risk populations, e.g., cancer, COPD
  • Highlights the need to prioritize maintaining and restoring muscle mass when managing malnutrition.
  • Describes the role nutrition and exercise can play in maintaining and restoring muscle function.
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