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Determining the Influence of Habitual Dietary Protein Intake on Physiological Muscle Parameters in Youth and Older Age

1
School of Sport, Exercise, and Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston B15 2TT, UK
2
Medical Research Council-Versus Arthritis Centre for Musculoskeletal Ageing, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston B15 2TT, UK
3
Medical Research Council-Versus Arthritis Centre for Musculoskeletal Ageing and NIHR Nottingham Biomedical Research Centre, University of Nottingham, Derby DE22 3DT, UK
4
Department of Medicine for the Elderly, University Hospitals of Derby and Burton NHS Foundation Trust, Derby DE22 3NE, UK
5
NIHR Birmingham Biomedical Research Centre, University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust and the University of Birmingham, Edgbaston B15 2TT, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Anna Ardévol and Montserrat Pinent Armengol
Received: 1 September 2021 / Revised: 6 October 2021 / Accepted: 8 October 2021 / Published: 12 October 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Protein Metabolism in Ageing)
Protein ingestion is a potent stimulator of skeletal muscle protein synthesis (MPS). However, older adults demonstrate resistance to anabolic stimuli. Some evidence has demonstrated that a larger acute protein dose is required in older compared to younger adults to elicit the same synthetic response, suggesting that older adults should be consuming higher habitual dietary protein to optimise muscle mass. However, limited research has explored dietary habits in different age groups or the relationship between habitual dietary intake and mechanistic physiological parameters associated with muscle mass and function. This work investigated the effect of habitual dietary intake in young (n = 10, 25.9 (3.2y)) and older (n = 16, 70.2 (3.2y)) community-dwelling adults (16:10 male: female) on physiological muscle parameters. Dietary intake was assessed using four-day diet diaries. Post-absorptive MPS and MPS responses to feeding (4.25x basal metabolic rate; 16% protein) were determined in muscle biopsies of the m. vastus lateralis via stable isotope tracer ([1, 2−13C2]-leucine) infusions with mass-spectrometric analyses. Body composition was measured by dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry. Whole body strength was assessed via 1-repetition maximum assessments. No significant differences in habitual dietary intake (protein, fat, carbohydrate and leucine as g.kgWBLM−1.day−1) were observed between age groups. Whole-body lean mass (61.8 ± 9.9 vs. 49.8 ± 11.9 kg, p = 0.01) and knee-extensor strength (87.7 ± 28.3 vs. 56.8 ± 16.4 kg, p = 0.002) were significantly higher in young adults. Habitual protein intake (g.kg−1.day−1) was not associated with whole-body lean mass, upper-leg lean mass, whole-body strength, knee-extensor strength, basal MPS or fed-state MPS across both age groups. These findings suggest that differences in muscle mass and strength parameters between youth and older age are not explained by differences in habitual dietary protein intake. Further research with a larger sample size is needed to fully explore these relationships and inform on interventions to mitigate sarcopenia development. View Full-Text
Keywords: muscle protein synthesis; ageing; dietary protein; sarcopenia muscle protein synthesis; ageing; dietary protein; sarcopenia
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MDPI and ACS Style

Mathewson, S.L.; Gordon, A.L.; Smith, K.; Atherton, P.J.; Greig, C.A.; Phillips, B.E. Determining the Influence of Habitual Dietary Protein Intake on Physiological Muscle Parameters in Youth and Older Age. Nutrients 2021, 13, 3560. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/nu13103560

AMA Style

Mathewson SL, Gordon AL, Smith K, Atherton PJ, Greig CA, Phillips BE. Determining the Influence of Habitual Dietary Protein Intake on Physiological Muscle Parameters in Youth and Older Age. Nutrients. 2021; 13(10):3560. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/nu13103560

Chicago/Turabian Style

Mathewson, Sophie L., Adam L. Gordon, Kenneth Smith, Philip J. Atherton, Carolyn A. Greig, and Bethan E. Phillips. 2021. "Determining the Influence of Habitual Dietary Protein Intake on Physiological Muscle Parameters in Youth and Older Age" Nutrients 13, no. 10: 3560. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/nu13103560

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