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Animal Protein versus Plant Protein in Supporting Lean Mass and Muscle Strength: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials

Department of Food Science & Technology, National University of Singapore, 3 Science Drive 3, Singapore 117543, Singapore
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Jamie I. Baum and Elisabet Børsheim
Nutrients 2021, 13(2), 661; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13020661
Received: 28 December 2020 / Revised: 5 February 2021 / Accepted: 13 February 2021 / Published: 18 February 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutritional Considerations for Skeletal Muscle in Health and Disease)
Although animal protein is usually considered to be a more potent stimulator of muscle protein synthesis than plant protein, the effect of protein source on lean mass and muscle strength needs to be systematically reviewed. This study aimed to examine potential differences in the effect of animal vs. plant protein on lean mass and muscle strength, and the possible influence of resistance exercise training (RET) and age. The following databases were searched: PubMed, Embase, Scopus and CINAHL Plus with Full Text, and 3081 articles were screened. A total of 18 articles were selected for systematic review, of which, 16 were used for meta-analysis. Total protein intakes were generally above the recommended dietary allowance at the baseline and end of intervention. Results from the meta-analyses demonstrated that protein source did not affect changes in absolute lean mass or muscle strength. However, there was a favoring effect of animal protein on percent lean mass. RET had no influence on the results, while younger adults (<50 years) were found to gain absolute and percent lean mass with animal protein intake (weighted mean difference (WMD), 0.41 kg; 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.08 to 0.74; WMD 0.50%; 95% CI 0.00 to 1.01). Collectively, animal protein tends to be more beneficial for lean mass than plant protein, especially in younger adults. View Full-Text
Keywords: body composition; muscle mass; muscular strength; protein source body composition; muscle mass; muscular strength; protein source
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MDPI and ACS Style

Lim, M.T.; Pan, B.J.; Toh, D.W.K.; Sutanto, C.N.; Kim, J.E. Animal Protein versus Plant Protein in Supporting Lean Mass and Muscle Strength: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials. Nutrients 2021, 13, 661. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13020661

AMA Style

Lim MT, Pan BJ, Toh DWK, Sutanto CN, Kim JE. Animal Protein versus Plant Protein in Supporting Lean Mass and Muscle Strength: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials. Nutrients. 2021; 13(2):661. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13020661

Chicago/Turabian Style

Lim, Meng T., Bernice J. Pan, Darel W.K. Toh, Clarinda N. Sutanto, and Jung E. Kim. 2021. "Animal Protein versus Plant Protein in Supporting Lean Mass and Muscle Strength: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials" Nutrients 13, no. 2: 661. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13020661

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