Evidence-Based Recommendations for Optimal Dietary Protein Intake in Older People: A Position Paper From the PROT-AGE Study Group

We argue that while a modest increase in dietary protein beyond the recommended dietary allowance may be beneficial for some older adults, there is a greater need to examine the quality and quantity of protein consumed with each meal

J├╝rgen Bauer; Gianni Biolo; Tommy Cederholm; Matteo Cesari; Alfonso J. Cruz-Jentoft; John E. Morley; Stuart Phillips; Cornel Sieber; Peter Stehle; Daniel Teta; Renuka Visvanathan; Elena Volpi; Yves Boirie

2013

Scholarcy highlights

  • New evidence shows that older adults need more dietary protein than do younger adults to support good health, promote recovery from illness, and maintain functionality
  • We argue that while a modest increase in dietary protein beyond the recommended dietary allowance may be beneficial for some older adults, there is a greater need to examine the quality and quantity of protein consumed with each meal
  • Results of 7 studies of Type 1 diabetes were combined in a meta-analysis; a low protein diet appears to slow the progression of diabetic nephropathy, but not significantly
  • Researchers noted it was extremely difficult for patients to maintain the low-protein diet, and they concluded that uncertain renal protection may not be worth the risk of malnutrition
  • Frail older people who engaged in resistance training and consumed supplemental dietary protein for 24 weeks showed significant muscle hypertrophy, together with increases in muscle strength and performance; study researchers concluded that protein intake was necessary for training-associated gains in muscle mass
  • At the end of the follow-up, functional limitations more significantly decreased in the intervention compared with the control group
  • We found that optimal protein intake for an older adult is higher than the level currently recommended for adults of all ages.1e3 New evidence shows that higher dietary protein ingestion is beneficial to support good health, promote recovery from illness, and maintain functionality in older adults.5e10 Based on our findings, we made updated recommendations for protein intake
  • Branched-chain amino acids, including leucine, are thought to have specific positive effects on signaling pathways for muscle protein synthesis. The addition of a mixture of branched-chain amino acids to the nutritional support of severely ill patients increased muscle protein synthesis in different settings.199200 the BCAA leucine has been proposed as a promising pharmaconutrient for prevention and treatment of sarcopenia, results of nutritional intervention studies are not consistent regarding the clinical efficacy of leucine in healthy, active older men.201202 no data are available today for older people who are inactive or ill

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