Issue 45

​Whey protein supports the quality of later life

With age comes muscle loss. The right protein intake can slow the process

The older we get, the more challenging it becomes to maintain the muscle mass that keeps us mobile and independent. Sufficient daily intake of high quality whey protein can make the difference between disabling frailty and life-long independence.

In the average person, the first signs of age-related muscle loss – sarcopenia – appear around the age of 40. Above the age of 75, the condition accelerates, spurred by a daily protein intake that, for up to 40% of seniors, is way below the standard recommendation of 0.8g per kilo body weight.

Sarcopenia postponed
“If we maintain a good protein intake, we can postpone the onset of frailty and enjoy longer free living. It’s about quality of life,” says Lindsey Ormond, business development manager for health & performance nutrition at Arla Foods Ingredients.

Whey protein is particularly suited to the purpose due to its high content of essential and branched chain amino acids. Leucine is of special importance as it is this amino acid that triggers muscle protein synthesis. Whey is one of the richest sources of leucine.

“Appetite is reduced in older consumers, so it is even more important that what they are consuming is high quality. This is where whey protein can have such a benefit for elderly consumers,” Ormond states.

Easy addition to the diet
In view of the increased risk of illness and malnutrition that comes with age, nutritionists suggest a daily protein intake of 1.0 to 1.5g per kilo body weight to slow the development of sarcopenia in seniors.

Yoghurts, cookies, bars, soups and protein shots, for example, all enable easy incorporation of whey protein in the diet. Protein powders for mixing into food are another possibility.

Food Matters Live
Lindsey Ormond will chair the session entitled ‘Formulating for age – innovations in sensory and technology applications’ at Food Matters Live in London, UK on 18-20 November and demonstrate a protein-rich coffee cappuccino drink developed for the senior market.

Arla Foods Ingredients will also contribute with Category & Application Manger Inge Lise Povlsen that will address “Overcoming texture and sensory challenges when developing egg-free in bakery”,

Application Group Manager Torben Jensen with “Exploring possibilities for fat and sugar reduction in yogurts” and Professor Louise Dye with “Realising the potential of milk phospholipids as an ingredient to improve cognitive function”.

For more information, visit www.foodmatterslive.com or contact Arla Foods Ingredients.