Whey protein helps maintain muscle while dieting

When older adults try to lose weight, muscle can deteriorate as well. In this study, 80 obese older adults followed a diet with 600 fewer calories per day than their metabolism required while undergoing resistance training exercise three times per week.

Participants took 21 grams of whey protein, plus leucine and vitamin D, 10 times per week, or a placebo. After 13 weeks, the whey protein group saw a 3.6 percent drop in body weight compared to 3.1 percent for placebo, and an 8.3 percent decrease in body fat compared to 6.5 percent for placebo. Waist size and body mass index scores decreased in both groups.

While muscle strength and physical performance were similar between the groups, muscle mass increased 2.1 percent for those taking whey protein while decreasing 2.3 percent for placebo. Doctors said whey protein preserved muscle mass in obese adults on a diet and exercise program, and may help preserve muscle with age.

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