Protein for older adults

Reviewed by our expert panel
Protein for older adults

Do older adults have higher protein requirements than younger adults?

There is still limited research about the protein needs of older adults, but the available research has raised concerns that older people, especially those over 70 years, may need a relatively high amount of protein – 25% more – in their diet compared to younger adults.

The increased need is thought to be due to significantly less efficient use of protein by the body.

As the overall energy needs of older people are less it is important that the food consumed is 'nutrient-dense' and that foods containing protein are eaten at most meals.

As protein needs increase in times of illness or following surgery; that is, when the body is repairing itself; older adults may need more for this reason also.

First published: Oct 2006

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