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Study finds beef promotes higher muscle protein synthesis in older individuals compared to plant-based protein sources

Study finds beef promotes higher muscle protein synthesis in older individuals compared to plant-based protein sources Amino acid, beef, Diet and health, Essential amino acid, fish and savoury ingredients, Healthy foods, meat, Muscle protein synthesis, plant-based, Proteins, Science Food and Beverage Business

The food and beverage industry is undergoing significant changes as it adapts to the challenges posed by climate change. As a result, there is a growing emphasis on the consumption of protein from plant-based sources as opposed to animal-based ones. While plant-based proteins offer many benefits, a recent study published in The Journal of Nutrition has pointed out certain nutritional drawbacks, such as reduced protein digestibility due to antinutritional factors found in plant-based whole foods.

The study delved into the differences between plant-based and animal-based proteins in terms of their ability to stimulate muscle protein synthesis. It found that a meal containing beef stimulated higher muscle protein synthesis, especially in older individuals, compared to a plant-based meal with an equivalent amount of protein. The study was funded by the meat industry consumer organization The Beef Checkoff and meat producer Vion Food Group.

The link between muscle protein synthesis and amino acid content was highlighted. This is essential for understanding why certain foods are more effective in stimulating muscle protein synthesis. Plant-derived proteins typically contain fewer essential amino acids, such as leucine, as compared to those derived from animal sources. Additionally, the digestibility of the protein and the matrix of the whole food are significant factors in amino acid absorption.

Despite the results of the study, there are potential solutions to the issue of muscle protein synthesis that do not involve consuming beef. Plant-protein isolates and fortification of plant-based protein sources are suggested as alternative accommodations. Consuming a wider variety of proteins and engaging in regular exercise are also highlighted as possible solutions.

Overall, the study provides valuable insights into the differences between plant-based and beef-based proteins, particularly in relation to muscle protein synthesis. It underscores the importance of protein quality and digestibility in stimulating muscle protein synthesis, especially in older individuals. As the food and beverage industry continues to evolve, incorporating these findings into product development and marketing strategies could be beneficial.

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