I was reading an article today published by the NY Times regarding aging and muscle loss (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/31/health/research/31muscle.html). As people age, it is presumed that we lose muscle tone and strength due to many factors such as activity, fatty infiltration in the muscles, hormonal changes and they have even created a new medical term for this called sarcopenia, a fancy medical way of saying muscle loss. The concept is patterned after the idea of osteopenia, which is a loss of bone in medical terminology.
I say buyer beware because drug companies would love to bottle this and sell this as the next life threatening malady that afflicts us which can be bottled, and then sold, side effects and all with the blessing of insurance companies who become convienced this is a true malady that is life threatening.
The reality is that people need to remain active and stimulated. People who work into their late 70’s and 80’s tend to be sharper mentally and physically, they move better although we have the problems of gravity, our body mechanics, degenerative changes in the spine leading to spinal stenosis which will cause muscular wasting (you cannot solve that in a pill) and there are of course, degenerative processes due to hormonal changes and also changes at the cellular level which are likely not to be helped by a pill.
My solutions are for people to have more active lives (many people are overweight and less active – a problem the army is experiencing with new recruits), to eat better (lets get away from our unhealthy food production methods and corn doping of many things we eventually eat) and to take care of biomechanical problems when we are young (true preventative care). Trying to give someone a pill for a problem that in most cases is because biomechanical issues have been ignored for years because doctors did not understand them is absurd, and will also likely if history repeats itself will be expemsive and give us problems we dont have and are not likely to develop without the pharmaceutical companies help.
We need to embrace aging as a normal process, not a disease and people will have healthier muscles with a properly functioning body, and myofascial system, rather than the next pill to fix a problem that is a natural part of aging, given that most health care practitioners really do not understand human body mechanics very well.
What do you think? As always, I value your opinion.