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June 2017 Issue

All Protein Types Benefit Muscle Health

Dietary protein from any food source—plant or animal—can improve muscle mass and strength, researchers say. A food-frequency survey was used to estimate total protein intake of almost 3,000 men and women aged 19-72 years old, from 2002-2005. Dietary protein was grouped into fast food and full-fat dairy, fish, red meat, chicken, low-fat milk, and legumes. Protein intake was associated with lean mass, strength, and bone mineral density. Participants who met the recommended daily allowance for protein of 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight per day showed significant improvement in lean mass and strength, though bone mineral density didn’t change. Those with the lowest protein intake had significantly lower lean mass and strength compared with those who ate higher amounts.

American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, February 2017