High protein diet may stave off old-age decline in men

A diet high in protein, particularly animal protein, may help older men retain their cognitive ability and their ability to look after themselves.

Dr Tsubota-Utsugi and colleagues looked at the diets of 1007 people who were 60 years or older and measured their cognitive ability and independence. They took the same measurements seven years later and compared the results of people who had a diet high in protein with those who had a diet low in protein.

Men with a diet highest in animal protein had a 39% decreased chance of experiencing a decline in their cognitive ability and ability to look after themselves compared to those with a diet lowest in animal protein intake. The same association was not seen in women.

A diet high in plant protein does not appear to offer the same protection.

Read more at National Institute of Health and Nutrition Japan