How Much Protein Do Older Adults Need?

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This week our guests spoke about weight loss so the topic of protein seemed appropriate. Since I amolder and  get conflicting information from health care personnel about how much protein I need, I am sure others do also. So the latest research follows.

New research published in the American Journal of Physiology concluded that older adults may need to double up on the recommended daily allowance of protein to efficiently maintain and build muscle.  Previous studies had varied on the amount of protein needed by adults and some studies advocated more than the recommended allowance. In this study researchers studies 20 healthy adults between age 52 and 75 who were randomly assigned to one of four groups over a four day test period. Two groups ate the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of 0.8 g/kg per day of protein. In this group one had protein distributed equally across meals with 1/3 at each of three meals and the other had uneven protein distribution at meals with 15% at breakfast, 20 percent at lunch and 65% at dinner.  The other two groups ate double the RDA (1.5 g/kg per day) following the same even, uneven protein distribution as the first groups. The group that ate double the protein RDA was supplemented with a pre weighed protein concentrate to ensure they received the daily goial of 1.5 g/kg day. All means were prepared for the subjects. Findings showed that the distribution of protein throughout the day did not make a significant difference, the amount of protein consumed did.  They said “Whole body net protein balance was greater with protein intake above recommended daily allowance.”

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