Protein Intake and Mobility Limitation in Community-Dwelling Older Adults: the Health ABC Study.
Houston DK, Tooze JA, Garcia K, Visser M, Rubin S, Harris TB, Newman AB, Kritchevsky SB; Health ABC Study.
J Am Geriatr Soc. 2017 Mar 17. doi: 10.1111/jgs.14856
In this study we investigated the protein intake of 1.998 older adults (70-79 years) who are living in the United States and who participate in the Health, Aging and Body Composition Study. On average, the older adults consumed 66.2 gram of protein per day. Of the men, 27.3% consumed less protein than the current Recommended Dietary Allowance, which indicates a consumption of at least 0.8 gram protein per kilogram of body weight. For women this was 26.5%.
All adults were well-functioning at baseline. The older adults were followed over 6 years, during which 45.5% developed a new mobility limitation, indicating they reported to experience difficulties walking one-quarter of a mile or climbing 10 steps without resting.
Older adults who consumed less than 0.70 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight at baseline, and those who consumed between 0.70 and 1.0 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight at baseline, were more likely to developed mobility limitation during the 6 years compared to older adults who consumed 1.0 or more grams of protein per kilogram body weight. These findings were similar when the animal protein consumption or the vegetable protein consumption were investigated separately.
The results of this research suggest that older adults with a lower protein intake are at greater risk of developing mobility limitations. They also suggest that consuming 1.0 or more grams of protein per kilogram body weight might be optimal for older persons to maintain physical function.
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