Is the optimal level of protein intake for older adults greater than the recommended dietary allowance?

Elena Volpi, Wayne W. Campbell, Johanna T. Dwyer, Mary Ann Johnson, Gordon L. Jensen, John E. Morley, Robert R. Wolfe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

174 Scopus citations


Background.Protein is a macronutrient essential for growth, muscle function, immunity and overall tissue homeostasis. Suboptimal protein intake can significantly impact physical function and overall health in older adults.Methods.This article reviews the literature on the recommendations for protein intake in older adults in light of the new evidence linking protein intake with sarcopenia and physical function. Challenges and opportunities for optimal protein nutrition in older persons are discussed.Results.Recent metabolic and epidemiological studies suggest that the current recommendations of protein intake may not be adequate for maintenance of physical function and optimal health in older adults. Methodological limitations and novel concepts in protein nutrition are also discussed.Conclusion.We conclude that new research and novel research methodologies are necessary to establish the protein needs and optimal patterns of protein intake for older persons.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)677-681
Number of pages5
JournalJournals of Gerontology - Series A Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2013


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Aging
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

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