2020 Volume 8 Pages 70-88
Sarcopenia is a degenerative phenomenon, common in elderly populations. As humans age, they are likely to experience skeletal muscle weakness and atrophy; however, unfortunately, there is still no effective treatment for sarcopenia. The health-promoting potential of plant-based foods is associated with the presence of bioactive components. This article reviews information on bioactive plant compounds which may affect skeletal muscle health, particularly with respect to therapeutic approaches to sarcopenia. In general, plant products can be categorized into two main groups, based on their general status in the human diet: inedible or edible. Investigations suggest that bioactive compounds from both groups show the potential to prevent the development of sarcopenia, in several ways, including anti-atrophy, prevention of oxidative damage, enhanced myogenesis, and anti-inflammatory activity. Each of these agents has been shown to suppress one or more of the signs of sarcopenia, and restore health to muscle, in the patient (in vivo) or in tissue culture (in vitro). The potential use of plant bioactive compounds as therapy for sarcopenia is worthy of further study.