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Protein Meals and Daily Intake

The name protein is derived from the Greek term proteos, which means “primary” or “to take place first.” Protein was first identified well over a century ago, at which time scientists described it as a nitrogen-containing part of food that is essential to human life.

Higher Protein Requirements During Aging

The average life expectancy has increased over the past century and now averages about 71 years globally. Along with significant medical advances, exercise, nutrition and lifestyle behaviors have all played a role in modulating longevity. Despite enhanced longevity, aging is associated with reduced muscle and bone mass, strength, metabolism and disease fighting capacity. Protein is a key nutrient in helping to modify the rate of progression of age-related affects. Over the past couple decades greater attention has focused on whether protein requirements are higher for older individuals versus their younger-aged counterparts. Today, it is clear that the evidence points to a higher base protein requirement for older individuals and that dietary guidance around the world relevant to this population and protein should be re-evaluated.

More Protein and Muscle Development

Protein Level and Weight Loss

Protein Safety with Higher Protein Intakes

It is still common today to come across internet and magazine articles, social media posts and even some professional commentary that either directly states or suggests that protein intakes above the current base requirement levels stated by many countries/organizations as presenting a risk to the function and health of various tissue such as the kidneys, liver and bone. However, the potential adverse effect of higher protein intakes on human health generally unfounded and in contrast to the most current evidence-based understanding of the issue. While the misinformation on this matter continues, an opportunity also exists for confusion regarding scenarios where protein requirements are clearly elevated above RDA levels and alike globally such as aging as well as well as caloric restriction. Furthermore, it creates confusion when evaluating certain dietary recommendations such as the Adequate Macronutrient Distribution Range (AMDR) in the United States and Canada which states a protein range spanning 10-35% of energy intake with the upper end of the range dramatically raising protein intake above requirement standards. Thus, a need exists for a clearer understanding of this issue so that professionals, media and consumers are well informed with the most up-to-date information.

Protein Requirements

Other Protein-Related Information Sources