Can Higher Protein Consumption Lead to More Weight Loss and Reduced Inflammation in Older Adults?

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Obesity is a killer.

Make no mistake about it.

It leads to untold numbers of chronic diseases, taxes the body when the body should be building and thriving, and, even beyond that, it taxes our individual and collective wallets in increased health care costs for the individual and on the entire health care system.

The good news is, this is an issue we can take into our own hands.

We can give our bodies the break from fighting they need to go out and build themselves up, thrive, and save money in our pocketbooks, driving down the health care costs of the whole society.

That is the real health care revolution.

But what about our older population? Everyone knows that when you get older, it’s harder to lose weight, exercise, etc. Things just deteriorate and there’s nothing you can do about it, right?

Wrong.

You know that kind of thinking is rejected around here and, fortunately, we have some studies to back up that right kind of thinking.

Researchers out of Duke University published findings in the Journal of Nutrition in Gerontology and Geriatrics in 2019 that indicate increased protein intake led to increased weight loss and improvements in inflammatory status in the obese older adults they studied.

They divided their test participants into two groups: one group that consumed a traditional weight loss diet and another group that consumed at least 30g of protein at two of three meals per day.

They found that weight loss increased and BMI decreased in both groups (great news). However, the protein group outperformed the traditional weight loss group in both categories. See the chart below:

 WeightBMI
Traditional−4.8 ± 8.2 kg−2.3 ± 2.4 kg/m2
Protein−8.7 ± 7.4 kg−2.9 ± 2.3 kg/m2

While this is nice to know, the real gem here is what they observed in terms of inflammatory markers.

While several markers of inflammation responded to the protein group, there were no significant changes in the traditional group.

This is hugely important as, along with obesity, chronic inflammation is also a major contributor to numerous chronic diseases. In fact, it may be one of the most important factors for us to consider.

The idea that increased protein consumption could benefit us in both regards could be a real game-changer for many of us.

Of course, with that said, more studies are needed to confirm this (many may be out there already waiting to be disseminated) and to establish reliable guidelines as to the ideal amount of protein both on its own and relative to other macronutrients.

In the meantime, though, this study gives us a lot to chew on.

Of course, always discuss with your doctor any changes to or initiating of any treatment or diet plans. This article is for informational purposes only and is not meant to be medical advice.

Speaking of eating meat, however, you may be interested in reading about my experiment with the carnivore diet. To read the first two entries (more to come) just click on the links below:

I Tried Intermittent Carnivore Fasting. Here’s What Happened.

Intermittent Carnivore Fasting: 4-week Update

As always, thanks for being here!

Reference: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/21551197.2018.1564200


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