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Nutr Rev. 2010 Oct;68(10):616-23. doi: 10.1111/j.1753-4887.2010.00321.x.

Effect of protein intake on bone and muscle mass in the elderly.

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  • 1Nutrition Department, School of Public Health, University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil.


The aging process is frequently characterized by an involuntary loss of muscle (sarcopenia) and bone (osteoporosis) mass. Both chronic diseases are associated with decreased metabolic rate, increased risk of falls/fracture, and, as a result, increased morbidity and loss of independence in the elderly. The quality and quantity of protein intake affects bone and muscle mass in several ways and there is evidence that increased essential amino acid or protein availability can enhance muscle protein synthesis and anabolism, as well as improve bone homeostasis in older subjects. A thorough evaluation of renal function is important, since renal function decreases with age. Finally, protein and calcium intake should be considered in the prevention or treatment of the chronic diseases osteoporosis and sarcopenia.

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