Animal, Plant, Collagen and Blended Dietary Proteins: Effects on Musculoskeletal Outcomes

Nutrients. 2020 Sep 1;12(9):2670. doi: 10.3390/nu12092670.


Dietary protein is critical for the maintenance of musculoskeletal health, whereappropriate intake (i.e., source, dose, timing) can mitigate declines in muscle and bone mass and/orfunction. Animal-derived protein is a potent anabolic source due to rapid digestion and absorptionkinetics stimulating robust increases in muscle protein synthesis and promoting bone accretion andmaintenance. However, global concerns surrounding environmental sustainability has led to anincreasing interest in plant- and collagen-derived protein as alternative or adjunct dietary sources.This is despite the lower anabolic profile of plant and collagen protein due to the inferior essentialamino acid profile (e.g., lower leucine content) and subordinate digestibility (versus animal). Thisreview evaluates the efficacy of animal-, plant- and collagen-derived proteins in isolation, and asprotein blends, for augmenting muscle and bone metabolism and health in the context of ageing,exercise and energy restriction.

Keywords: ageing; animal-derived protein; bone; collagen-derived protein; exercise; plant-derived protein; protein blends; skeletal muscle; energy restriction.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aging / metabolism
  • Animal Proteins, Dietary / pharmacokinetics*
  • Animals
  • Bone Remodeling / drug effects
  • Bone and Bones / drug effects*
  • Caloric Restriction
  • Collagen / chemistry
  • Dietary Proteins / pharmacokinetics*
  • Exercise / physiology
  • Humans
  • Muscle, Skeletal / drug effects*
  • Nutritional Physiological Phenomena / drug effects
  • Plant Proteins, Dietary / pharmacokinetics*
  • Protein Biosynthesis / drug effects


  • Animal Proteins, Dietary
  • Dietary Proteins
  • Plant Proteins, Dietary
  • Collagen