Exercise and protein 'can beat frailty'

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Ella Pickering

Muscle training and protein supplements may be the key to reversing frailty, a new study suggests.

Increases in life expectancy in the population have led to rising numbers of frail elderly people. Frailty has been described as the effects of natural ageing combined with the outcomes of multiple long-term conditions, a loss of fitness and reserves.

In the new study, published in the 'British Journal of General Practice', researchers from Dublin conducted a systematic review on studies on frailty interventions. The authors found interventions with both muscle strength training and protein supplements were consistently considered to be the best for effectiveness and ease of implementation.

They suggested what GPs should recommend to their patients including: 20 to 25 minutes of activity, four days a week at home, comprising 15 exercises to strengthen arms and legs and to improve balance and coordination.

There should be emphasis on daily milk, eggs, tuna or chicken or formula protein with meals, the authors added.