Can drinking coffee prevent age-related muscle loss?
03/06/2019 // Michelle Simmons // Views

Muscles tend to degenerate with age, which leads to a debilitating condition known as sarcopenia. Fortunately, a study published in the journal Nutrition Research found that light coffee drinking can help protect against sarcopenia, particularly in men. In women, they found that heavy consumption of coffee can increase the risk of obesity.

Carried out by researchers at Hallym University College of Medicine in South Korea, the study looked at the association between coffee consumption, obesity, and sarcopenia. The researchers hypothesized that drinking coffee can help prevent obesity and sarcopenia. To test this hypothesis, they studied 6,906 adults aged 40 years old or older who were enrolled in the Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey from 2009 to 2010. In addition, they also measured the body composition of the participants and determined obesity according to the participants' body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference. After that, they divided the participants into four groups according to their degree of coffee consumption: less than once a day, once a day, twice a day, and three or more times a day.

The results of the study showed that men who drank coffee at least once a day had a lower risk of sarcopenia compared to those who rarely drank coffee. On the other hand, women who consumed coffee three or more times a day were at a higher risk of obesity compared to those who rarely drink coffee.

Based on the findings of the study, the researchers concluded that drinking coffee at least once a day helps protect men against sarcopenia, while drinking coffee three or more times a day increases the risk of obesity in women.


Another study suggests drinking coffee lowers risk of sarcopenia in elderly men

An analysis published in the Korean Journal of Family Medicine also supports that drinking coffee protects against sarcopenia in men above 60. In the analysis, a team of researchers from Jeju National University in Korea found that drinking at least three cups of coffee each day was linked to a lower risk of sarcopenia. The research team suggests that this protective effect of coffee against sarcopenia can be attributed to its potential to induce muscle autophagy, as well as its phenolic compounds caffeic acid and chlorogenic acid that have powerful antioxidants and anti-inflammatory effects.

The Korean researchers conducted the study to look at the relationship between coffee consumption and the risk of sarcopenia in elderly Korean men. They derived the cross-sectional data from the 2008–2011 Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. The study observed 1,781 men who were at least 60 years old. They categorized the participants' daily consumption into four: less than a cup, one cup, two cups, and three or more cups.

After analyzing, the researchers found that those who drank at least three cups of coffee a day had a 57 percent lower risk of sarcopenia than those who drank less than one cup of coffee daily. Furthermore, those who drank three or more cups of coffee daily exhibited a 62 percent lower risk. From these findings, the researchers conclude that drinking at least three cups of coffee each day was linked to a lower risk of sarcopenia in elderly men.

These studies on the prevention of sarcopenia bear importance as the condition remains an important clinical problem that affects millions of older adults. This progressive disease can result in mobility disorders, physical disability, poor quality of life, and even death. (Related: Elderly are not getting enough quality protein, warns scientific review.)

Read more news stories and studies on the health benefits of coffee by going to

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