Protein needs for optimal health at all ages

Pages from Proceedings of Protein Symposium 2013Proceedings of the International Meat Secretariat (IMS)’s hosted symposium on protein requirements for optimal health throughout all life stages have been published and conclude that increasing dietary protein intake throughout the lifecycle may be beneficial.

The March edition of Nourish, Beef + Lamb NZ Inc’s health and nutrition newsletter pointed to the Union of Nutritional Sciences’ International Congress of Nutrition which took place in Granada, Spain on 16 September. The proceedings include presentation summaries by Professor Paul Moughan of New Zealand’s Massey University, Dr Rajavel Elango from the University of British Colombia, Professor Nancy Rodriguez of the University of Connecticut and Deakin University’s Professor Caryl Nowson.

Professor Moughan and Elango explained why the method of establishing the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for all life stages may not be taking into consideration relevant factors and offered new solutions for determining more precise RDA. Professor Elango’s paper looked particularly at the protein needs of children.Professors Rodriguez and Nowson looked at the need to consider functional outcomes when evaluating protein needs throughout the lifecyle. Rodriguez’ paper examined eating and exercise for healthy ageing, while Nowson looked at whether older adults needed more protein to live longer.

Closing the symposium, the chair of the IMS’s Human Nutrition and Health Committee Mary Ann Binnie, reiterated that increasing dietary protein intake may be beneficial. She supported the new FAO-proposed methodology for determining protein quality as it will allow a more precise characterisation of the true quality of protein.

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