Beef may be the answer to aging muscles


February 6, 2013

Topic:

Unbalanced protein consumption leads to decreased muscle mass

As people age, they often lose muscle mass at a faster rate than younger individuals. While this is natural for the aging process, it can make it more difficult for seniors to exercise, and if they cease to do so, their health may be affected. This is why Canadian researchers are looking to find ways to prevent this from happening, and they recently found that eating beef and other high-protein foods, in particular, may be the answer.

According to their study, which was published in the journal Applied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism, individuals who want to preserve their muscle mass should consume six ounces of 85 percent lean ground beef to improve the rate of muscle protein synthesis (MPS) after they exercise. The study's investigators evaluated 35 men - who were, on average, 59 years old and either consumed the meat or did not - to arrive at this conclusion.

The reason that beef in particular is beneficial to maintaining muscle mass is because it is rich in dietary protein, which is able to stimulate MPS.

Healthcare providers can take this information into consideration when working with older patients who are trying to keep their muscles strong and healthy as they age. This may be especially beneficial for people who are diagnosed with arthritis. Affected individuals already face challenges with exercising and may not be able to work on their muscles as much as they may like. In turn, they are more likely to experience orthopaedic problems due to lack of strength.

Eating beef and other foods that are high in protein, as well as staying physically active, may help keep seniors healthier for longer. 


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