Aging Conference Presents Insight on Protein Consumption and Elderly Muscles

October 24, 2011

Timing of protein consumption around exercise may be the key to preserving muscle mass in the elderly.

Timing of protein consumption around exercise may be the key to preserving muscle mass in the elderly, according to new insight from the Healthy Aging Conference, held this month in Amsterdam.

Sarcopenia, or age-related muscle loss, affects an estimated 50% of elderly people. For this reason, there is strong interest in boosting protein consumption in the elderly---especially during earlier meals, where Americans reportedly consume little of their daily protein.

In an education session sponsored by Fonterra Inc. (Auckland, New Zealand) at the Healthy Aging Conference, Luc van Loon, professor of physiology and exercise at Maastricht University Medical Center, explained a scientific theory relating to the human ability to use food nutrients for muscle development.

According to van Loon, triggers of muscle formation that result from food intake are blunted in the elderly. Research shows that when older people consume protein immediately before or after exercise, their muscular responses can improve.

For ideas on how to incorporate protein into American diets, visit Fonterra.

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