Beneficial role of replacing dietary saturated fatty acids by polyunsaturated fatty acids in prevention of sarcopenia: Findings from the NU-AGE cohort: Findings from the nu‐ age cohort

Diego Montiel-Rojas, Aurelia Santoro, Andreas Nilsson, Claudio Franceschi, Miriam Capri, Alberto Bazzocchi, Giuseppe Battista, Lisette C. P. G. M. de Groot, Edith J. M. Feskens, Agnes A. M. Berendsen, Agata Bialecka-Debek, Olga Surala, Barbara Pietruszka, Susan Fairweather-Tait, Amy Jennings, Frederic Capel, Fawzi Kadi

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Dietary fat subtypes may play an important role in the regulation of muscle mass and function during ageing. The aim of the present study was to determine the impact of isocaloric macronutrient substitutions, including different fat subtypes, on sarcopenia risk in older men and women, while accounting for physical activity (PA) and metabolic risk. A total of 986 participants, aged 65–79 years, completed a 7‐day food record and wore an accelerometer for a week. A continuous sex‐specific sarcopenia risk score (SRS), including skeletal muscle mass assessed by dual‐energy X‐ray absorptiometry (DXA) and handgrip strength, was derived. The impact of the isocaloric replacement of saturated fatty acids (SFAs) by either mono‐ (MUFAs) or poly‐unsaturated (PUFAs) fatty acids on SRS was determined using regression analysis based on the whole sample and stratified by adherence to a recommended protein intake (1.1 g/BW). Isocaloric reduction of SFAs for the benefit of PUFAs was associated with a lower SRS in the whole population, and in those with a protein intake below 1.1 g/BW, after accounting for age, smoking habits, metabolic disturbances, and adherence to PA guidelines. The present study highlighted the potential of promoting healthy diets with optimised fat subtype distribution in the prevention of sarcopenia in older adults.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3079
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 9 Oct 2020


  • Ageing
  • Dietary fats
  • Isocaloric substitution
  • Macronutrients
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Muscle mass
  • Muscle strength
  • Physical activity

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