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Muscle Building and Maintenance in the Elderly: the Use of Protein

Abstract

The involuntary loss of lean muscle mass that accompanies aging, or sarcopenia, necessitates identification of strategies that can blunt muscle protein breakdown and enhance muscle protein synthesis. This chapter focuses on the key factors impacting muscle protein synthesis in the elderly including adequacy of total caloric intake, a focus on the total daily quantity of high quality protein, a balanced pattern of protein ingestion per meal, characteristics regarding protein quality, anabolic resistance of aging, and achieving an adequacy of the essential amino acid, leucine, in each meal. A discussion is included regarding the existing limitations in current dietary protein recommendations for the elderly and the challenges of exaggerated muscle loss secondary to disuse.

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Correspondence to Hope Barkoukis.

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Hope Barkoukis declares that she has no conflict of interest.

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This article is part of the Topical Collection on Nutrition and Aging

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Barkoukis, H. Muscle Building and Maintenance in the Elderly: the Use of Protein. Curr Nutr Rep 5, 77–83 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s13668-016-0163-9

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s13668-016-0163-9

Keywords

  • Dietary protein
  • Muscle protein synthesis
  • Leucine
  • Nitrogen balance
  • Essential amino acids
  • Sarcopenia
  • Whey
  • Protein quality