Sarcopenia, characterized by muscle loss, negatively affects the elderly's physical activity and survival. Enhancing protein and polyphenol intake, possibly through the supplementation of fermented black soybean koji product (BSKP), may alleviate sarcopenia by addressing anabolic deficiencies and gut microbiota dysbiosis because of high contents of polyphenols and protein in BSKP. This study aimed to examine the effects of long-term supplementation with BSKP on mitigating sarcopenia in the elderly and the underlying mechanisms. BSKP was given to 46 participants over 65 years old with early sarcopenia daily for 10 weeks. The participants’ physical condition, serum biochemistry, inflammatory cytokines, antioxidant activities, microbiota composition, and metabolites in feces were evaluated both before and after the intervention period. BSKP supplementation significantly increased the appendicular skeletal muscle mass index and decreased the low-density lipoprotein level. BSKP did not significantly alter the levels of inflammatory factors, but significantly increased the activity of antioxidant enzymes. BSKP changed the beta diversity of gut microbiota and enhanced the relative abundance of Ruminococcaceae_UCG_013, Lactobacillus_murinus, Algibacter, Bacillus, Gordonibacter, Porphyromonas, and Prevotella_6. Moreover, BSKP decreased the abundance of Akkermansia and increased the fecal levels of butyric acid. Positive correlations were observed between the relative abundance of BSKP-enriched bacteria and the levels of serum antioxidant enzymes and fecal short chain fatty acids (SCFAs), and Gordonibacter correlated negatively with serum low-density lipoprotein. In summary, BSKP attenuated age-related sarcopenia by inducing antioxidant enzymes and SCFAs via gut microbiota regulation. Therefore, BSKP holds potential as a high-quality nutrient source for Taiwan's elderly, especially in conditions such as sarcopenia.
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