Whey Protein, Leucine and Vitamin D Prevent Muscle Wasting During Weight Loss

Obesity is a serious health problem in older adults, but weight loss can be potentially dangerous. Significant weight loss is almost always accompanied by muscle loss, which can be difficult for older adults to regain. People lose 20 percent of their muscle mass between ages 40 and 60. Significant muscle loss during aging, a condition called sarcopenia, decreases mobility, blood sugar control, bone density, and increases the risk of premature death. Dutch researchers showed that a daily supplement of whey protein, leucine and vitamin D prevented muscle loss during a 13-week weight-loss program that reduced energy intake by 600 calories per day. The test subjects also participated in a weight-training program three days per week. The combination of weight training and protein supplementation could help obese adults lose weight and maintain muscle mass. (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 101:279-286, 2015)

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