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Older Men Who Eat More Animal Protein Experience Less Mental, Physical Decline

March 11, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
Life expectancy has increased steadily around the globe, but older people often lead lives plagued by mental and physical decline.  Researchers in Japan report that one way to combat  functional decline may be through  greater consumption of animal protein. With aging, the ability to absorb and process protein deteriorates. In their seven-year study, the researchers analyzed questionnaire data from 1,007 people whose average age was 67 years. Tests determined higher-level functional abilities  Men who consumed the most animal protein were 39 percent less likely to experience functional decline than those who ate the least animal protein. The association was not seen in women, nor were any benefits derived from eating plant protein in either sex.
Eri Imai et al., "Animal Protein Intake Is Associated with Higher-Level Functional Capacity in Elderly Adults: The Ohasama Study", Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, March 11, 2014, © Imai et al.
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