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17.07.2017


Best diet to prevent muscle loss contains lots of protein but also lots of antioxidants

As you age and want to prevent yourself from becoming frail what are the best foods to eat? Lots of protein-rich products of course. But foods that are rich in anti-oxidants are just important, such as tea, coffee, vegetables and fruit, epidemiologists at the University of Tokyo discovered. The combination of lots of protein and lots of protective anti-oxidants reduces the chance of muscle loss by a factor of four.

Study
The Japanese measured whether 2108 women aged 65 or more were frail. Elderly people who are frail have lost much of their muscle mass, strength and speed. Their chance of dying, of falling or becoming ill is higher.

Best diet to prevent muscle loss contains lots of protein but also lots of antioxidants
The researchers measured the amount of protein in the elderly participants’ diet, and the amount of anti-oxidants too, and then divided the participants into groups on the basis of the measurements. The amount of anti-oxidants was expressed in trolox equivalents. Trolox is a synthetic analogue of vitamin E, and an effective anti-oxidant.

Results
The elderly participants consumed relatively large amounts of protein. Their average protein intake was 1.45 g per kg bodyweight per day. Nevertheless, within this group the participants with the highest protein intake were 44 percent less likely to be frail than the group with the lowest protein intake. (*)


Best diet to prevent muscle loss contains lots of protein but also lots of antioxidants


A high anti-oxidant intake protects the muscles a little better. The participants with the highest anti-oxidant intake were 49 percent less likely to be frail than the group with the lowest protein intake. (**)

The figure below shows the joint effect of protein and anti-oxidant intake. The elderly with both a high protein intake and a high anti-oxidant intake were 73 percent less likely to be frail than the group with the lowest protein and anti-oxidant intake. So that protective factor is almost four times as high: which is pretty considerable.


Best diet to prevent muscle loss contains lots of protein but also lots of antioxidants

Best diet to prevent muscle loss contains lots of protein but also lots of antioxidants


Conclusion
"We found that total protein intake and dietary total antioxidant capacity was independently inversely associated with frailty in old Japanese women," the researchers concluded. "The diet with the combination of high total protein and high dietary total antioxidant capacity was markedly associated with a low prevalence of frailty."

"Eating fruits, vegetables, pulses, and fish and shellfish and drinking green tea and coffee, instead of confectionaries and soft drinks, may be an effective strategy for frailty prevention among the Japanese population. In other populations, other food combinations that allow for an increase of both protein and antioxidants in their diet can be selected based on the local food culture and dietary habits."



"Further studies are needed to develop effective dietary strategies for the intervention of frailty prevention."

Source:
Nutr J. 2017 May 12;16(1):29.

More:
Ginkgo has anabolic effect on ageing muscles 16.01.2010
Epidemiological study: more muscle strength in the elderly with more magnesium 19.10.2009

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