Skeletal muscle is a highly responsive tissue, able to remodel its size and metabolism in response to external demand. Muscle fibers can vary from fast glycolytic to slow oxidative, and their frequency in a specific muscle is tightly regulated by fiber maturation, innervation, or external causes. Atrophic conditions, including aging, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and cancer-induced cachexia, differ in the causative factors and molecular signaling leading to muscle wasting; nevertheless, all of these conditions are characterized by metabolic remodeling, which contributes to the pathological progression of muscle atrophy. Here, we discuss how changes in muscle metabolism can be used as a therapeutic target and review the evidence in support of nutritional interventions and/or physical exercise as tools for counteracting muscle wasting in atrophic conditions.
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