Muscle mass tends to reduce as a person gets older,
especially around the fourth or fifth decade of life. This is due to an
imbalance between the rate of production and loss of muscle in middle and older
age. This imbalance can be controlled to some extent by improving the protein
content of food.
The researchers found that eating a 6-ounce serving of 85% lean ground beef
brought about a significant improvement in the synthesis of muscle protein
which is necessary to preserve muscles in middle-to-old age and prevent
age-related loss. This amount is much more than that recommended by Canada's
Food Guide. According to the researchers, the current recommended values only
aim at preventing protein deficiency. The amount recommended by the researchers
on the other hand helps to synthesize new muscle.
The study was conducted on 35 healthy men around the
age of 59 years. Beef was used in the study since the essential amino acids
found in beef were similar in proportion to that of human skeletal muscle.
If more studies support the claims of this research, it is possible that
the recommendations for daily protein intake may need to be revised.