Protein Nutrition, Meal Timing, and Muscle Health

Authored by: Donald K. Layman

Handbook of Nutrition and Food

Print publication date:  July  2013
Online publication date:  April  2016

Print ISBN: 9781466505711
eBook ISBN: 9781466505728
Adobe ISBN:


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The past decade witnessed an emergence of dietary protein in the popular press and nutrition research. Rediscovery of protein as a critical dietary component has been fueled by three distinct areas of research. One area driving intense interest is use of higher-protein diets for weight loss; a second area evolved from concern about sarcopenia—age-related loss of muscle; and the third area emerged from characterizing the unique role of the branched-chain amino acid (BCAA) leucine as a translation initiation signal for muscle protein synthesis (mPS). These three areas of research are beginning to converge as a unified concept for adult protein needs that emphasizes the quantity and quality of protein necessary at individual meals instead of conventional dietary guidelines focused on minimum protein requirements defined as net daily intake in proportion to body weight or as a percentage of energy intake. 1 , 2

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