Science Saturday: All Protein Types Benefit Muscles

Science Saturday: All Protein Types Benefit Muscles

There is so much hype on protein these days, from how much you need to what type really helps preserve and build muscles. Well, it turns out that plant proteins are just as efficient as animal proteins at muscle synthesis, according to a new study. 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) Read the full study here  and here.

Image: Mediterranean Edamame Quinoa Bowl, Sharon Palmer, RDN

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