Nutritional therapy for cachexia and sarcopenia
Compared to research in treatments for cachexia, the interest in the development and treatment of sarcopenia is relatively new. Besides exercise and medical treatment, research in the field of prevention and therapy of cachexia and sarcopenia focuses on different nutritional interventions. The aim of this review is to give insight into recent research in the field of nutritional therapy for cachexia and sarcopenia. Energy and protein requirements and interventions to meet these requirements, as well as the supplementation of omega-3 fatty acids and L-carnitine are currently being discussed for prevention and therapy of cachexia. For sarcopenia, the supplementation of proteins and amino acids, antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D, and the positive effect of a caloric restriction are under investigation. Recent results on the effect of different nutrients, especially about the supplementation with omega-3-fatty acids, are promising. To be able to make general recommendations for supplementation further high-quality long-term studies are necessary. In the meantime, emphasis should be placed on prevention and early diagnosis of cachexia and sarcopenia. Monitoring the nutritional status is an important factor to enable an early intervention in the care of persons at risk of or with cachexia/sarcopenia. Barriers in nutritional intake should be diagnosed and treated to enable a sufficient intake of macro- and micronutrients, with particular attention to a sufficient protein intake. © Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart, New York. © Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart, New York.