Protein intake helps reduce the risk of muscle loss in old age

Meeting your daily nutritional needs is one way you can do to take care of overall body health. One of the nutrients that are needed by the body is protein. Consisting of a number of amino acids, proteins play a role in building, strengthening, and repairing tissues in the body so that they can function properly.

As you know, protein has a vital role in building body muscles. In producing new muscle, the body needs regular stimulation to function efficiently. This stimulation occurs when the body receives protein intake. Unlike those who are young, those who are elderly need higher protein intake to maintain muscle mass, since they can lose muscle mass with age.

Unfortunately, based on the results of a study conducted by the University of Birmingham, researchers found that those in the elderly group (average age of 77 years) tended to have lower protein intake. This was found after making comparisons with two other groups, younger group (average age of 23 years) and the adult group (average age of 51 years). Each participant was asked about what they consumed for three days to find out their eating habits.

The results showed that when compared with the other two groups, the elderly are known to be more likely to consume low-quality protein sources, such as bread, for lunch. In addition, the unequal distribution of protein intake can also cause muscle mass to decrease. Researchers explained that the elderly must consume more protein if they want to get the same muscle formation response with the young and adult groups. Regular exercise can also help muscles make better use of protein.


Text by Anggie Triana
Stock photos from Adobe Stock Images


  • Smeuninx, B., Greig, C.A., and Breen, L. (2020). Amount, Source and Pattern of Dietary Protein Intake Across the Adult Lifespan: A Cross-Sectional Study. Frontiers in Nutrition, DOI: 10.3389 / fnut.2020.00025.
  • Science Daily - A more balanced protein intake can reduce age-related muscle loss (2020). 17 March 2020.

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