Short-term protein intake increases fractional synthesis rate of muscle protein in the elderly: meta-analysis

  • Received : 2010.04.25
  • Accepted : 2010.09.10
  • Published : 2010.10.31


The precise effects of protein intake on fractional synthesis rate (FSR) of muscle protein are still under debate. The sample size of these studies was small and the conclusions in young and elderly subjects were inconsistent. To assess the effect of dietary protein intake on the FSR level, we conducted a meta-analysis of controlled protein intake trials. Random-effects models were used to calculate the weighted mean differences (WMDs). Ten studies were included and effects of short-term protein intake were evaluated. In an overall pooled estimate, protein intake significantly increased the FSR (20 trials, 368 participants; WMD: 0.025%/h; 95%CI: 0.019-0.031; P < 0.0001). Meta-regression analysis suggested that the protein dose was positively related to the effect size (regression coefficient = 0.108%/h; 95%CI: 0.035, 0.182; P = 0.009). A subgroup analysis indicated that protein intake significantly increased FSR when the protein dose was ${\leq}$ 0.80 g/kg BW (16 trials, 308 participants; WMD: 0.027%/h; 95%CI: 0.019-0.031; P < 0.0001), but did not affect FSR when the protein dose was > 0.80 g/kg BW (4 trials, 60 participants; WMD: 0.016%/h; 95%CI: 0.004-0.029; P = 0.98). In conclusion, this study is the first integrated results showing that a short-term protein intake is effective at improving the FSR of muscle protein in the healthy elderly as well as young subjects. This beneficial effect seems to be dose-dependent when the dose levels of protein range from 0.08 to 0.80 g/kg BW.


Supported by : Kyungnam University


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