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Intake of a protein-enriched milk and effects on muscle mass and strength. A 12-week randomized placebo controlled trial among community-dwelling older adults
- Ottestad, Inger, Løvstad, A.T., Gjevestad, G.O., Hamarsland, H., Šaltytė Benth, J., Andersen, L.F., Bye, A., Biong, A.S., Retterstøl, K., Iversen, P.O., Raastad, T., Ulven, S.M., Holven, K.B.
- The journal of nutrition, health & aging 2017 v.21 no.10 pp. 1160-1169
- breakfast, chest, dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry, elderly, energy, men, milk, muscle strength, muscles, placebos, protein intake, women, Norway
- OBJECTIVES: To investigate the effect of 20 g protein with breakfast and evening meal on muscle mass, muscle strength and functional performance in older adults. DESIGN: A double-blinded randomized controlled study. SETTING: Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences, Norway. PARTICIPANTS: Healthy community-dwelling men and women (≥ 70 years) with reduced physical strength and/or performance. INTERVENTION: Subjects were randomly assigned to receive either protein-enriched milk (2 x 0.4 L/d; protein group) or an isocaloric carbohydrate drink (2 x 0.4 L/d; control group) with breakfast and evening meal for 12 weeks. MEASUREMENTS: The primary endpoints were muscle mass measured by dual X-ray absorptiometry, and tests of muscle strength (one repetition maximum test of chest press and leg press) and functional performance (handgrip strength, stair climb and repeated chair rise). RESULTS: In total, 438 subjects were screened, 50 subjects were randomized and 36 completed the study. Chest press improved significantly in the protein (1.3 kg (0.1-2.5), p=0.03) and the control group (1.5 kg (0.0-3.0), p=0.048), but with no difference between the groups (p=0.85). No significant change in leg press (p=0.93) or muscle mass (p=0.54) were observed between the protein and the control group. Nor did we observe any significant differences in the functional performance tests (p>0.05 for all tests) between the groups. CONCLUSION: Increased protein intake (2 x 20 g/d) did not significantly improve muscle mass, muscle strength or functional performance in healthy older weight stable adults. Whether intake of > 20 g protein to each meal is necessary for preservation of muscle mass and strength in older adults should be further investigated in a larger study. This underscores the need for well-designed studies that can differentiate between the effect of protein intake and increased energy. This trial was registered at Clinicaltrials.gov (ID no. NCT02218333).