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Nutrients 2015, 7(8), 6874-6899; doi:10.3390/nu7085311

Protein Requirements and Recommendations for Older People: A Review

1
School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, Deakin University, Locked Bag 20000, Waurn Ponds, Geelong 3220, VIC, Australia
2
School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, Deakin University, 221 Burwood Highway, Burwood, Melbourne 3125, VIC, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 1 May 2015 / Revised: 27 July 2015 / Accepted: 4 August 2015 / Published: 14 August 2015
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Abstract

Declines in skeletal muscle mass and strength are major contributors to increased mortality, morbidity and reduced quality of life in older people. Recommended Dietary Allowances/Intakes have failed to adequately consider the protein requirements of the elderly with respect to function. The aim of this paper was to review definitions of optimal protein status and the evidence base for optimal dietary protein. Current recommended protein intakes for older people do not account for the compensatory loss of muscle mass that occurs on lower protein intakes. Older people have lower rates of protein synthesis and whole-body proteolysis in response to an anabolic stimulus (food or resistance exercise). Recommendations for the level of adequate dietary intake of protein for older people should be informed by evidence derived from functional outcomes. Randomized controlled trials report a clear benefit of increased dietary protein on lean mass gain and leg strength, particularly when combined with resistance exercise. There is good consistent evidence (level III-2 to IV) that consumption of 1.0 to 1.3 g/kg/day dietary protein combined with twice-weekly progressive resistance exercise reduces age-related muscle mass loss. Older people appear to require 1.0 to 1.3 g/kg/day dietary protein to optimize physical function, particularly whilst undertaking resistance exercise recommendations. View Full-Text
Keywords: protein requirements; elderly; muscle; function; strength protein requirements; elderly; muscle; function; strength
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Nowson, C.; O'Connell, S. Protein Requirements and Recommendations for Older People: A Review. Nutrients 2015, 7, 6874-6899.

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