Older individuals need their nutritional requirements met. This includes the need for vitamin D and protein for muscle and bone health.
A new research supports the consumption of the combination of vitamin D and whey protein as breakfast supplement for older individuals to help them meet their nutritional needs.
Preserving Muscles through Nutritional Approach:
Loss of muscle tissue due to age can be slowed down through several nutritional regimen, according to scientists. These include the consumption of adequate amount of protein in every meal and consumption of readily available essential amino acids from high-quality protein.
One particular amino acid that plays an important role is leucine. This amino acid helps stimulate the synthesis of muscle protein. It can be found in whey protein, which also helps stimulate muscle growth. Consuming 25-30 grams of whey protein a meal helps with the muscle growth.
Vitamin D supplementation is another nutritional regimen for older individuals to maintain their muscles. This vitamin helps in the metabolism of muscle protein. Supplementation of this vitamin in older adults is important as most of them are vitamin D deficient.
Muscle Increase in Healthy Older Males:
Researchers conducted a new study on the combination of vitamin D and whey protein to help increase muscles in healthy older males. The study was published in the Journal of Nutrition, August edition.
The double-blind, six-week trial was done on 24 healthy older males, ages 67-74. The subjects were divided into two groups. One group consumed breakfast supplemented with 21 grams of whey protein combined with 800 IU of vitamin D. The other group consumed breakfast with flavored placebo drink.
The muscle protein synthesis was measured through muscle biopsy four hours after meal. Longer-term changes were also measured with DEXA scans prior to the start of the trial and during the last week.
After the six-week trial period, researchers found that the group who consumed the vitamin D and whey protein combination had significantly higher synthesis rates and gained more lean mass compared to the other group.
Vitamin D, Its Significant Role, and Sources:
There are nearly 1 billion people with vitamin D deficiency. In the US, research shows that 39 percent of Americans are deficient in vitamin D and 25 percent have insufficient levels of the vitamin. This means that 64 percent of the US population has inadequate levels of this sunshine vitamin.
Vitamin D aids in the absorption of calcium and phosphate, which help in the development of healthy bones and strong muscles. When the body is deficient in vitamin D, there is a higher risk of bone fracture and muscle weakness. As most cells in the body have vitamin D receptors, this means that vitamin D also plays a significant role in most of the body functions and processes aside from keeping the bones and muscles healthy and strong.
The body can get vitamin D through sunlight exposure. Vitamin D supplementation is also another option. Individuals deficient in vitamin D can also get it through dietary sources including fatty fish (salmon, tuna), cheese, eggs, red meat, and fortified foods like cereals, soy milk, and some dairy products.
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