Protein & sarcopenia

Unless otherwise requested, this will be my last post on protein for a while. I promise. Maybe.

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Came upon another review that went over some of the nuances of different protein sources, amino acid profiles, etc., and lean mass (Gorissen and Witard, 2018).

While I don’t think this really matters that much, most people on Earth get their protein 60% from plants, 40% from animals. Flip those values for the Americas and Europe.



Wrt protein: I think quantity from diverse sources is more important than shooting for some specific amino acid score. It’s more practical and less guesswork, imo.

  • Sarcopenia sucks (P<0.05). It’s one of the leading causes of reduced quality of life.
  • Anabolic resistance: dietary protein intake usually stimulates muscle protein synthesis. This is reduced in inflammation and aging. There are a few steps to get around this.
  • Protein balance is muscle protein synthesis (MPS) AND muscle protein breakdown (MPB). The authors acknowledged this in the intro (YAY!), but the whole review focused on the former.
  • In general, it is thought that dietary protein supports MPS while insulin blunts MPB (over-simplified).

As detailed below, strategies to augment muscle protein synthesis (MPS) to the anabolic effects of dietary protein:

  • increase the dose (moar protein) — added protein provides more substrate to support MPS. Protein-induced insulin secretion helps blunt MPB
  • exercise can sensitize skeletal muscle to the anabolic effects of protein
  • seafood/DHA may have a similar sensitizing effect (2 or 3 studies support this)
  • cheat code LEUCINE (supported by many studies) – the gymbroni’s got this one right. It’s why whey, soy, and lean chicken are go-to’s: most leucine per calorie. Steak, nuts, and eggs have it too, but much less per calorie.


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