Supporting healthy diet choices that positively affect the aging process
For seniors, good health helps ensure independence, security, and quality of life. The proportion of seniors on a global population scale is predicted to dramatically increase in the future – by 2025, 1.2 billion people will be over the age of 60 and, by 2050, there will be around two billion. This increase presents new challenges for the world.
To date, a strong body of research shows that two key, health-related behaviours can positively affect the aging process: healthy diet choices and physical activity. Whey protein-rich foods can be integrated as part of a healthy diet and used to support physical activity in adults – and protein-rich foods have shown positive effects on a variety of health aspects, including muscle health, and the ageing process.
Human clinical studies conducted in older women who supplemented their daily habitual diet with additional protein, in form of hydrolysed whey proteins, before or after resistance training demonstrated increase in their skeletal muscle mass, muscular strength, and functional capacity.
The advance of sarcopenia (lost muscle mass and strength that saps quality of life by leading to frailty, greater risk of falls, lost functional independence and increased mortality) as well as some other forms of muscular atrophy can partly be prevented by combining exercise, in particular resistance training, with protein supplementation. Worldwide, around 10 percent of people aged between 60 and 70 years are affected by sarcopenia, and up to 50 percent of those aged 80 years or over. Whey protein has been documented to be a superior protein source for acute stimulation of muscle protein synthesis in the ageing body, making it an ideal choice for people who seek to supplement their diets with extra protein.
June 2019 marked the start-up of a joint research project to extract a lipid fraction from milk by advanced filtration to investigate a potential effect on cognitive health in the elderly. Called DAIRY-SMART, the project’s aim is to develop a new food ingredient for use in everyday food items such as yoghurt, milk drinks and energy bars that can help slow down memory loss. The project will run until the end of 2022.
A gradual decline of bone mass is a natural part of ageing. Milk naturally contains a high amount of calcium and phosphorous, two essential nutrients for development and maintenance of healthy bones throughout life. Daily intake of foods with added milk minerals, (Capolac®), has specifically been documented to cause a long-lasting gain in bone mass density.
- (Junior PS, Ribeiro AS, Nabuco HCG, et al. Effects of Whey Protein Supplementation Associated With Resistance Training on Muscular Strength, Hypertrophy and Muscle Quality in Pre-Conditioned Older Women. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2017;(Janu¬ary):1-27. doi:10.1123/ijsnem.2017-0253.
- Nabuco HCG, Tomeleri CM, Sugihara Junior P, et al. Effects of whey protein supplemen¬tation pre- or post-resistance training on muscle mass, muscular strength, and func¬tional capacity in pre-conditioned older women: A randomized clinical trial. Nutrients. 2018;10(5):1-14. doi:10.3390/nu10050563.
- Silva AM, Barbosa DS, Fernandes RR, et al. Effects of Protein Intake Beyond Habitual Intakes Associated With Resistance Training on Metabolic Syndrome-Related Param¬eters, Isokinetic Strength and Body Composition in Older Women. J Aging Phys Act. 2019:1-25. doi:10.1123/japa.2018-0370).
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