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19.03.2022


Diet with lots of vegetables keeps the elderly fit

When muscles and strength diminish as a result of the aging process, physical activity becomes difficult and energy levels plummet, scientists speak of frailty. According to a British meta-study, a diet high in vegetables offers protection against this.


Diet with lots of vegetables keeps the elderly fit


Study
Gotaro Kojima, a researcher from University College London, traced two epidemiological studies in the medical literature on the effect of fruit and vegetable intake on frailty in the elderly, which he found to be well conducted.

One was his own, the other belonged to a fellow researcher who had studied three groups of study participants in France.

Frailty is a complex concept. Fragile elderly people are tired most days of the week, are not or hardly physically active anymore, lose muscle strength, can only move slowly and lose weight without wanting to.

It is obvious that there is a relationship between lifestyle and the risk of frailty. A number of studies have looked at physical activity and protein intake, but research into the effect of fruits and vegetables is limited.

Results
When Kojima combined and re-analyzed the results of his research and the three French sub-study, he saw that fruit by itself did not protect against fragility. However, he did find a positive effect of the vegetables, and the combination of vegetables and fruit.


Diet with lots of vegetables keeps the elderly fit


Mechanism
Vegetables, and to a lesser extent fruit, probably provide protective substances that protect muscles against breakdown in old age.

Conclusion
"This systematic review and meta-analysis provided the pooled evidence that high fruit and vegetable consumption may be beneficial for preventing the development of frailty in older adults", writes Kojima.

"As increasing fruit and vegetable consumption is feasible and relatively cheap without significant side effects, this can be a relevant strategy to prevent frailty."

"Randomized controlled trials are warranted."

Source:
J Nutr Health Aging. 2018;22(8):101-7.

More:
More vitamin C, more muscle 30.08.2020
Best diet to prevent muscle loss contains lots of protein but also lots of antioxidants 17.07.2017
Vitamin C strengthens muscles in the elderly 23.11.2013

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