Dietary protein effects in elderly women: musculoskeletal, renal, cardiovascular and body composition endpoints [ 2007 - 2009 ]

Also known as: Dietary protein effects in elderly women

Research Grant

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Researchers: Prof Richard Prince (Principal investigator) ,  A/Pr Amanda Devine A/Pr Deborah Kerr A/Pr Kun Zhu Ms Vicky Solah
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Brief description Fractures and falls of the elderly are major health problems in our community in terms of disability and cost. It is critical to the future health of our aging population to develop non-pharmaceutical interventions to maintain health into old age. Epidemiologic studies have shown that relatively high protein intake is associated with increased bone mineral mass and reduced incidence of osteoporotic fracture in elderly people. Low protein intakes can lead to loss of muscle mass. To date there have been no randomised trials of sufficient duration to examine the effects of increased dietary protein intake on bone and muscle health of the elderly. The aim of this study is to examine the effectiveness of protein supplementation for the prevention of osteoporosis and muscle wasting in elderly women, and the safety of such an intervention through monitoring renal function and risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Two hundred and twenty women will be recruited to this study and be assigned to protein group or placebo group. Women in the protein group will received 250 ml high protein drink (containing 30 g protein) per day and women in the placebo group will receive placebo drink containing the same amount of energy, calcium but no additional protein. Bone structure, muscle mass, body composition, renal function and risk factors for cardiovascular disease will be monitored during the 2 year study period. The results of this randomised, controlled study will clarify the role of protein on bone mass and structure, muscle mass and body composition in the elderly. At the same time, the safety of such intervention on renal and cardiovascular endpoints will also be evaluated. It is envisaged that the results of this study if positive will translate into both immediately applicable intervention strategies that are relevant at a program and an individual level.

Funding Amount $AUD 478,946.74

Funding Scheme NHMRC Project Grants

Notes Standard Project Grant

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