High-Protein Diet Does Not Increase Muscle Mass or Improve Well-Being in Older Men

The Physicians Committee

High-Protein Diet Does Not Increase Muscle Mass or Improve Well-Being in Older Men

April 3, 2018

Middle aged man cooking healthy food with vegetables

High protein intake does not increase muscle mass or improve other health outcomes, according to a study published in JAMA Internal Medicine. Researchers randomized 78 participants aged 65 or older into several intervention groups of high-protein diets, testosterone injections, or recommended daily protein intakes and placebo injections and compared lean body mass, physical prowess, and overall well-being. Those who consumed more protein did not increase muscle mass or improve physical functionality, well-being, or responsiveness to testosterone, compared with those who consumed lower amounts of protein. These data suggest policymakers reevaluate protein intake recommendations based on outdated research.

Bhasin S, Apovian CM, Travison TG, et al. Effect of protein intake on lean body mass in functionally limited older men: a randomized clinical trial.  JAMA Intern Med. 2018;178:530-541.

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