Send to

Choose Destination
Front Nutr. 2019 Dec 6;6:180. doi: 10.3389/fnut.2019.00180. eCollection 2019.

Impact of a High Protein Intake on the Plasma Metabolome in Elderly Males: 10 Week Randomized Dietary Intervention.

Author information

Liggins Institute, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand.
Division of Systems Medicine and Digestive Medicine, Department of Metabolism, Digestion and Reproduction, Imperial College London, London, United Kingdom.
School of Kinesiology, The University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada.
Food Nutrition & Health Team, AgResearch, Palmerston North, New Zealand.
Department of Nutrition, Exercise and Sport, Copenhagen University, Copenhagen, Denmark.
Department of Nutritional Sciences and Research Platform Active Ageing, University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria.
The High-Value Nutrition National Science Challenge, Auckland, New Zealand.
Food & Bio-based Products Group, AgResearch, Palmerston North, New Zealand.
Riddet Institute, Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand.
Clinical Nutrition Research Centre, Singapore Institute for Clinical Sciences, Agency for Science, Technology, and Research, Singapore, Singapore.


High protein diets may improve the maintenance of skeletal muscle mass in the elderly, although it remains less clear what broader impact such diets have on whole body metabolic regulation in the elderly. Non-targeted polar metabolomics analysis using HILIC HPLC-MS was used to profile the circulating plasma metabolome of elderly men (n = 31; 74.7 ± 4.0 years) who were randomized to consume for 10 weeks a diet designed to achieve either protein (RDA; 0.8·g-1·kg-1) or that doubled this recommend intake (2RDA; A limited number of plasma metabolites (n = 24) were significantly differentially regulated by the diet. These included markers of protein anabolism, which increased by the 2RDA diet, including; urea, creatine, and glutarylcarnitine. Whilst in response to the RDA diet; glutamine, glutamic acid, and proline were increased, relative to the 2RDA diet (p < 0.05). Metaboanalyst identified six major metabolic pathways to be influenced by the quantity of protein intake, most notably the arginine and proline pathways. Doubling of the recommended protein intake in older males over 10 weeks exerted only a limited impact on circulating metabolites, as determined by LC-MS. This metabolomic response was almost entirely due to increased circulating abundances of metabolites potentially indicative of altered protein anabolism, without evidence of impact on pathways for metabolic health. Trial Registration: This trial was registered on 3rd March 2016 at the Australia New Zealand Clinical Trial Registry ( at ACTRN 12616000310460.


dietary protein; nutritional interventions; older adults; pathway mapping; plasma metabolomics

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Frontiers Media SA Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center