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Older people may benefit from more protein

Harold Mandel's picture
A high protein egg

Researchers say elderly people may need more than the recommended daily protein for good health.


Good nutrition is essential for good health at all stages of development. It appears that elderly people may need more protein in their diet than has been recommended over the years.

There are many essential factors to aging well. It has been observed that good family support can help prevent dementia. Running and dancing are also helpful to improve health for the elderly. Good nutrition with adequate amounts of protein is also a vital element to aging well.

Older people may need more than the recommended daily amount of protein

UPI reports that older people may need more than the recommended daily amount of protein. A Canadian researcher has suggested the old standard for suggested protein intake for the elderly may not be sufficient.

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Researchers at McMaster University in Canada say they have discovered that RDA values for protein needs for the elderly do not meet the protein needs which older critically ill patients actually have. Stuart Phillips, of McMaster University, has said in a press release that the prescribed 0.8 g/kg/day is simply not enough protein for older people and people suffering from a clinical condition. He sees this guideline as being a big disservice.

The quality of proteins should be given consideration

Phillips has suggested that the quality of proteins should be given consideration when RDA guidelines are set. He says there should be a stronger focus on leucine. This is an indispensable amino acid and which is a building block for proteins. When people are older they have an increased need for leucine to help them build muscle proteins. Leucine may also be very beneficial for critically ill patients because they can lose lean body mass quickly.

This study has been published by Frontiers in Nutrition. The present protein requirements may not be sufficient for people who are older. Elderly people may benefit from more than minimal protein consumption. A little extra protein in the diets of elderly people may be a good idea.