Muscle Mass and Older People: Eat Protein

Lila de Tantillo Health Guide
  • Older people who eat protein have no trouble turning it into muscle mass, even compared to their younger counterparts, according to a study in this month's issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.


    This is particularly important for those among us with osteoporosis, since a fracture that results in even a brief period of immobility can quickly deplete an older person's muscle strength and make it harder to ever regain one's prior capabilities and independence.


    But for an older person, it can be tough to consume the necessary protein, found in foods such as beef, chicken, fish, pork and dairy. Meats are often expensive for people on a fixed-income, and may not be a priority for individuals who have difficulty chewing. Those residing at nursing home or even assisted living facility may not have much of a say in routine meal plans.

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    The recommended daily allowance for protein for protein adults is .36 grams per pound of body weight. So a 150-lb. person should aim to consume about 54 grams of protein per day. Practical sources for older people who aren't up to a steak dinner might include tuna, cottage cheese, eggs or beans. So if you or an older person you know has slacked off on this important part of a healthful diet, give it another try. As the research shows, your muscles will appreciate it.


    For more on the study, read: or

    Also, check out the abstract:

Published On: August 16, 2007