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Elderly people need a lot of protein to stay healthy

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As we age good nutrition is a vital factor for maintaining good health. Eating a lot of protein in particular is important to help older people maintain their health.

It has been reported by McGill University Health Center that elderly people could be made stronger if they ate protein three times a day. Researchers in Quebec say there is an association between the distribution of protein and more muscle mass and muscle strength in elderly people.

As we age it is inevitable that there will be loss of muscle. This can lead to becoming frail, having falls and problems with mobility. Consuming an adequate amount of protein is a good way to attempt to prevent this from happening. It has been suggested that older people should split their daily protein needs between their three daily meals in order to develop greater muscle mass and muscle strength.

This study was done at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre in association with the Université de Sherbrooke and the Université de Montréal. Lead study author Dr. Stéphanie Chevalier has said that many older people eat most of their daily protein during lunch and dinner. The researchers wanted to determine if protein was added to the breakfast of these people if the more balanced intake of protein would lead to greater muscle strength.

All of the tissues in our body, including our muscles, are made up of proteins. These proteins are made up of amino acids. When the intake of protein is lowered there is a loss of muscle mass due to improper synthesis of amino acids into protein. Dr. Chevalier has said scientific evidence has shown that elderly people need to eat more protein with every meal because they need more of a boost of amino acids for protein synthesis.

This study has been published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Researchers have found that there is greater development of muscle mass in older people who split their intake of protein between three daily meals. Elderly people should clearly be encouraged to become more aware of their own protein needs.

Dr Harold Mandel

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