Effects of dietary protein intake on body composition changes after weight loss in older adults: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Nutr Rev. 2016 Mar;74(3):210-24. doi: 10.1093/nutrit/nuv065. Epub 2016 Feb 16.


Context: The impact of dietary protein on body composition changes after older adults purposefully lose weight requires systematic evaluation

Objective: : This systematic review and meta-analysis assessed the effects of protein intake (< 25% vs ≥ 25% of energy intake or 1.0 g/kg/d) on energy restriction-induced changes in body mass, lean mass, and fat mass in adults older than 50 years.

Data sources: PubMed, Cochrane, Scopus, and Google Scholar were searched using the keywords "dietary proteins," "body composition," "skeletal muscle," and "muscle strength."

Study selection: Two researchers independently screened 1542 abstracts.

Data extraction: Information was extracted from 24 articles.

Data synthesis: Twenty randomized control trials met the inclusion criteria.

Conclusion: Older adults retained more lean mass and lost more fat mass during weight loss when consuming higher protein diets.

Keywords: aging; body composition; obesity; protein.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue / metabolism*
  • Aged
  • Body Composition / drug effects*
  • Body Composition / physiology
  • Body Weight
  • Diet*
  • Dietary Proteins / administration & dosage
  • Dietary Proteins / pharmacology*
  • Energy Intake / physiology
  • Humans
  • Muscle, Skeletal / metabolism*
  • Weight Loss / physiology*


  • Dietary Proteins