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Eat To Grow: Growing Old

Protein can provide anabolic benefits for the elderly.

It’s a well-established fact, even in the mainstream medical community, that protein builds muscle; however, most protein-supplement users continue to be bodybuilders and other athletes. That may soon change, thanks to a new study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (71:1129-1137; 2000) that confirms the anabolic effects of protein and energy supplements in malnourished older adults.

The study participants were 69 to 90 years old. Seventeen of them took a protein drink that supplied 30 grams of protein while six patients took no supplement. All had lost more than 5 percent of their usual bodyweight prior to the study. Dietitians should be recommending bodybuilding protein supplements for elderly clients. IM

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