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Eating protein three times a day could make our seniors stronger

Quebec researchers link protein distribution to greater mass and muscle strength in the elderly

Aug 30, 2017

Loss of muscle is an inevitable consequence of aging that can lead to frailty, falls or mobility problems. Eating enough protein is one way to remedy it, but it would seem that spreading protein equally among the three daily meals could be linked to greater mass and muscle strength in the elderly.

These are the findings of a study conducted at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (RI-MUHC) in collaboration with the Université de Sherbrooke and the Université de Montréal. The research team examined both the amount of protein consumed and its distribution among people aged 67 and over, using one of the most comprehensive cohort studies in Quebec.

The results of the study, which were published recently in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, shed new light on the diet of people in an aging population.

"Many seniors, especially in North America, consume the majority of their daily protein intake at lunch and dinner. We wanted to see if people who added protein sources to breakfast, and therefore had balanced protein intake through the three meals, had greater muscle strength," says the lead author of the study, Dr. Stéphanie Chevalier, who is a scientist at the RI-MUHC and an assistant professor at the School of Human Nutrition at McGill University. Read more