Study finds older men need more protein

  • 21/11/2017
Study finds older men need more protein.
The study says current guidelines won't maintain muscle in older men. Photo credit: Photo: Getty.

According to a new Auckland University study, the amount of protein recommended by international guidelines isn't enough to maintain muscle and strength in older men. 

The size of skeletal muscles - the muscles used to move the body - affect our ability to perform everyday tasks and naturally decline past 50 years-old. Severe muscle loss can lead to frailty, loss of independence and a greater risk of early death.

The paper was published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, with lead scientist Dr Cameron Mitchell saying in a media release.

"Our findings show the current World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines for protein requirements are insufficient to maintain strength or muscle size in adults over age 70." 

"The current New Zealand recommended daily intake (RDI) for protein is set slightly higher than the WHO at 1.07g/kg/day [for men over 70], but still might be not enough to maintain muscle mass."

Dr Mitchell's advice for older men is to eat "high quality protein" at every meal, saying protein derived from animal sources is "more efficient at promoting muscle growth than plant-based protein".

Sounds like meat's back on the menu.