Protein: A nutrient in focus

Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2015 Aug;40(8):755-61. doi: 10.1139/apnm-2014-0530. Epub 2015 Jul 22.


Protein is an essential component of a healthy diet and is a focus of research programs seeking to optimize health at all stages of life. The focus on protein as a nutrient often centers on its thermogenic and satiating effect, and when included as part of a healthy diet, its potential to preserve lean body mass. A growing body of literature, including stable isotope based studies and longer term dietary interventions, suggests that current dietary protein recommendations may not be sufficient to promote optimal muscle health in all populations. A protein intake moderately higher than current recommendations has been widely endorsed by many experts and working groups and may provide health benefits for aging populations. Further, consuming moderate amounts of high-quality protein at each meal may optimally stimulate 24-h muscle protein synthesis and may provide a dietary platform that favors the maintenance of muscle mass and function while promoting successful weight management in overweight and obese individuals. Dietary protein has the potential to serve as a key nutrient for many health outcomes and benefits might be increased when combined with adequate physical activity. Future studies should focus on confirming these health benefits from dietary protein with long-term randomized controlled studies.

Keywords: IAAO; OAAI; aging; distribution de l’apport; gestion du poids; intake distribution; protein; protéines; recommandations; requirement; sarcopenia; sarcopénie; satiety; satiété; vieillissement; weight management.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aging
  • Dietary Proteins*
  • Humans
  • Muscular Atrophy / prevention & control
  • Nutritional Requirements*


  • Dietary Proteins