Leading experts have called for greater awareness and treatment of loss of lean body mass (or muscle mass) to preserve function and independence in older adults. Similar to decreased physical strength and energy as you age, loss of lean body mass is associated with serious health complications and even an increased risk of death. The issue was discussed at a symposium hosted by Abbott Nutrition titled “Muscle wasting: reversing the trend”, at the British Geriatrics Society Autumn Meeting. Experts at the meeting highlighted the important role of medical nutrition, including protein, vitamin D and essential amino acids, to help preserve lean body mass for ageing adults. Sarcopenia—or loss of lean body mass, strength and function with age—has been estimated to be present in 11–50% of those aged over 80 years. Speaking at the symposium, Professor Avan Aihie Sayer, from the MRC Lifecourse Epidemiology Unit, University of Southampton, said: “With an ageing population, we need to better understand the ageing process and its impact on physical function. Sarcopenia is associated with serious health consequences and education is needed in the diagnosis and management of this condition.” There is also a clear link between malnutrition and sarcopenia. Recent data suggest that low muscle mass is present in 69% of women and 89% of men with both malnutrition and one measure of impaired strength or physical performance, aged 65 years and over. Recent research has focused on the essential amino acid leucine and particularly the effect its metabolite, ß-hydroxy-ßmethylbutyrate, has on stimulating protein synthesis and inhibiting protein breakdown.