On a gram for gram basis, animal proteins are more effective than plant proteins in supporting the maintenance of skeletal muscle mass with advancing age, shows research presented this week at The Physiological Society’s virtual early career conference Future Physiology 2020.
The number of vegans in the UK has quadrupled since 2006, meaning that there are around 600,000 vegans in Great Britain (1). While we know plant-based diets are beneficial for the environment, we don’t actually know how healthy these diets are for keeping muscles strong in elderly people.
Scientists generally agree that the primary driver of muscle loss with age — at least in healthy individuals — is a reduction of muscle proteins being built from amino acids. These amino acids come from protein that we eat and are also formed when we exercise.
Oliver Witard of King’s College London is presenting research at The Physiological Society’s Future Physiology 2020 conference about soy and wheat proteins showing that a larger dose of these plant proteins is required to achieve a comparable response of building muscles.
Simply transitioning from an animal-based protein diet to a plant-based diet, without adjusting total protein intake, will likely to be detrimental to muscle health during ageing.
Source: Soy and wheat proteins helpful for building aging muscles, but not as potent as animal protein — ScienceDaily