Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Eating protein throughout the day preserves muscle and physical function in dieting postmenopausal women, study suggests

Date:
August 11, 2011
Source:
University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences
Summary:
Dieting postmenopausal women who want to avoid losing muscle as they lose fat should pay attention to a new study. Adding protein throughout the day not only holds hunger pangs at bay so that dieters lose more weight, it keeps body composition -- the amount of fat relative to muscle -- in better proportion.

Dieting postmenopausal women who want to avoid losing muscle as they lose fat should pay attention to a new University of Illinois study. Adding protein throughout the day not only holds hunger pangs at bay so that dieters lose more weight, it keeps body composition -- the amount of fat relative to muscle -- in better proportion.

"A higher-protein weight-loss diet is more protective of muscle," said Ellen Evans, a former U of I associate professor of kinesiology and community health and member of the university's Division of Nutritional Sciences.

Scientists in Evans's Illinois lab wanted to study the way body composition relates to physical function because older women who diet risk losing muscle as well as fat.

"That loss can affect their strength, balance, and how well they perform everyday tasks, such as climbing stairs and getting up out of a chair," said Mina Mojtahedi, a researcher in Evans's laboratory.

The study shows that higher protein intake during weight loss can offset negative effects on muscle mass by maintaining more muscle relative to the amount of weight lost. Women who ate more protein lost 3.9 percent more weight and had a relative gain of 5.8 percent more thigh muscle volume than woman who did not, she said.

"When a woman has less weight to carry, even if she's lost a bit of lean mass in her legs, the effect is that she has better physical function," she said.

It's likely that such women will be better able to maintain their mobility and independence as they age, she added.

In the six-month double-blind study, 31 healthy, postmenopausal obese women were divided into two groups. Each group followed a 1,400-calorie weight-loss diet based on USDA's My Pyramid, but one group received a powdered whey protein supplement in the morning and again in the afternoon or evening; the other received a placebo that contained carbohydrates.

"We believe it's important to eat protein in the morning and through the day so those amino acids are always available. Unfortunately, American women tend not to eat much protein, especially when they're trying to cut calories. But it's easy to add protein powder into a smoothie or eat a high-protein snack and incorporate a healthier diet into a busy lifestyle," she said.

Both groups were encouraged to engage in light exercise (walking and stretching) and given diet education, including examples of healthy daily menus and a scale to measure portion size.

Before and after the study, participants were assessed for strength, balance, and the ability to perform such physical tasks as walking 50 feet, standing up five times from a chair, and lifting a book 12 inches above shoulder height.

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was used at the beginning and end of the study to measure muscle volume of the right thigh, the amount of fat around the thigh, and the amount of fat within the thigh muscle.

In both groups, strength decreased as weight decreased. However, the study suggests that an increase in the amount of muscle relative to fat had beneficial effects on balance and performance, Evans noted.

And, even though weight loss in these older women had a negative effect on strength, their reduced weight helped with other aspects of physical function, she said.

"We hypothesize that more vigorous exercise -- in particular, resistance training -- would preserve even more muscle," she said.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences. "Eating protein throughout the day preserves muscle and physical function in dieting postmenopausal women, study suggests." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 August 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110810153710.htm>.
University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences. (2011, August 11). Eating protein throughout the day preserves muscle and physical function in dieting postmenopausal women, study suggests. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110810153710.htm
University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences. "Eating protein throughout the day preserves muscle and physical function in dieting postmenopausal women, study suggests." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110810153710.htm (accessed September 2, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Snack Attack: Study Says Action Movies Make You Snack More

Snack Attack: Study Says Action Movies Make You Snack More

Newsy (Sep. 2, 2014) You're more likely to gain weight while watching action flicks than you are watching other types of programming, says a new study published in JAMA. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.N. Says Ebola Travel Restrictions Will Cause Food Shortage

U.N. Says Ebola Travel Restrictions Will Cause Food Shortage

Newsy (Sep. 2, 2014) The U.N. says the problem is two-fold — quarantine zones and travel restrictions are limiting the movement of both people and food. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctors Fear They're Losing Battle Against Ebola

Doctors Fear They're Losing Battle Against Ebola

AP (Sep. 2, 2014) As a third American missionary is confirmed to have contracted Ebola in Liberia, doctors on the ground in West Africa fear they're losing the battle against the outbreak. (Sept. 2) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Tech Giants Bet on 3D Headsets for Gaming, Healthcare

Tech Giants Bet on 3D Headsets for Gaming, Healthcare

AFP (Sep. 2, 2014) When Facebook acquired the virtual reality hardware developer Oculus VR in March for $2 billion, CEO Mark Zuckerberg hailed the firm's technology as "a new communication platform." Duration: 02:24 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins