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Dietary Protein and Muscle in Aging People: The Potential Role of the Gut Microbiome

The Department of Twin Research, Kings College London, 3-4th Floor South Wing Block D, St Thomas’ Hospital, Westminster Bridge Road, London SE1 7EH, UK
Clinical Age Research Unit, Kings College Hospital Foundation Trust, London SE5 9RS, UK
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2018, 10(7), 929;
Received: 8 June 2018 / Revised: 13 July 2018 / Accepted: 18 July 2018 / Published: 20 July 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dietary Protein and Muscle in Aging People)
Muscle mass, strength, and physical function are known to decline with age. This is associated with the development of geriatric syndromes including sarcopenia and frailty. Dietary protein is essential for skeletal muscle function. Resistance exercise appears to be the most beneficial form of physical activity for preserving skeletal muscle and a synergistic effect has been noted when this is combined with dietary protein. However, older adults have shown evidence of anabolic resistance, where greater amounts of protein are required to stimulate muscle protein synthesis, and response is variable. Thus, the recommended daily amount of protein is greater for older people. The aetiologies and mechanisms responsible for anabolic resistance are not fully understood. The gut microbiota is implicated in many of the postulated mechanisms for anabolic resistance, either directly or indirectly. The gut microbiota change with age, and are influenced by dietary protein. Research also implies a role for the gut microbiome in skeletal muscle function. This leads to the hypothesis that the gut microbiome might modulate individual response to protein in the diet. We summarise the existing evidence for the role of the gut microbiota in anabolic resistance and skeletal muscle in aging people, and introduce the metabolome as a tool to probe this relationship in the future. View Full-Text
Keywords: protein; skeletal muscle; sarcopenia; gut microbiome; metabolome; diet; supplementation protein; skeletal muscle; sarcopenia; gut microbiome; metabolome; diet; supplementation
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Ni Lochlainn, M.; Bowyer, R.C.E.; Steves, C.J. Dietary Protein and Muscle in Aging People: The Potential Role of the Gut Microbiome. Nutrients 2018, 10, 929.

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