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The Role of the Anabolic Properties of Plant- versus Animal-Based Protein Sources in Supporting Muscle Mass Maintenance: A Critical Review

1
UNH, Unité de Nutrition Humaine, CRNH, Université Clermont Auvergne, INRA, Auvergne, 63000 Clermont-Ferrand, France
2
IATE Agropolymer Engineering and Emerging Technologies, Univ. Montpellier, INRA, CIRAD, Montpellier SupAgro, 34060 Montpellier, France
3
Service de Nutrition Clinique, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire (CHU) Gabriel Montpied, 63000 Clermont-Ferrand, France
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2019, 11(8), 1825; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11081825
Received: 17 July 2019 / Revised: 2 August 2019 / Accepted: 5 August 2019 / Published: 7 August 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Frailty: Role of Nutrition and Exercise)
Plant-sourced proteins offer environmental and health benefits, and research increasingly includes them in study formulas. However, plant-based proteins have less of an anabolic effect than animal proteins due to their lower digestibility, lower essential amino acid content (especially leucine), and deficiency in other essential amino acids, such as sulfur amino acids or lysine. Thus, plant amino acids are directed toward oxidation rather than used for muscle protein synthesis. In this review, we evaluate the ability of plant- versus animal-based proteins to help maintain skeletal muscle mass in healthy and especially older people and examine different nutritional strategies for improving the anabolic properties of plant-based proteins. Among these strategies, increasing protein intake has led to a positive acute postprandial muscle protein synthesis response and even positive long-term improvement in lean mass. Increasing the quality of protein intake by improving amino acid composition could also compensate for the lower anabolic potential of plant-based proteins. We evaluated and discussed four nutritional strategies for improving the amino acid composition of plant-based proteins: fortifying plant-based proteins with specific essential amino acids, selective breeding, blending several plant protein sources, and blending plant with animal-based protein sources. These nutritional approaches need to be profoundly examined in older individuals in order to optimize protein intake for this population who require a high-quality food protein intake to mitigate age-related muscle loss. View Full-Text
Keywords: plant-based proteins; animal-based proteins; older people; skeletal muscle; muscle protein synthesis; critical review plant-based proteins; animal-based proteins; older people; skeletal muscle; muscle protein synthesis; critical review
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Berrazaga, I.; Micard, V.; Gueugneau, M.; Walrand, S. The Role of the Anabolic Properties of Plant- versus Animal-Based Protein Sources in Supporting Muscle Mass Maintenance: A Critical Review. Nutrients 2019, 11, 1825.

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