Important Concepts in Protein Nutrition, Aging, and Skeletal Muscle: Honoring Dr Douglas Paddon-Jones (1969–2021) by Highlighting His Research Contributions

Emily J. Arentson-Lantz, Donald K. Layman, Heather J. Leidy, Wayne W. Campbell, Stuart M. Phillips

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

This review is a tribute to honor Dr Douglas Paddon-Jones by highlighting his career research contributions. Dr Paddon-Jones was a leader in recognizing the importance of muscle health and the interactions of physical activity and dietary protein for optimizing the health span. Aging is characterized by loss of muscle mass and strength associated with reduced rates of muscle protein synthesis (MPS) and the ability to repair and replace muscle proteins. Research from the team at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston discovered that the age-related decline in MPS could be overcome by increasing the quantity or quality of dietary protein at each meal. Dr Paddon-Jones was instrumental in proposing and testing a “protein threshold” of ∼30 g protein/meal to optimize MPS in older adults. Dr Paddon-Jones demonstrated that physical inactivity greatly accelerates the loss of muscle mass and function in older adults. His work in physical activity led him to propose the “Catabolic Crisis Model” of muscle size and function losses, suggesting that age-related muscle loss is not a linear process, but the result of acute periods of disuse associated with injuries, illnesses, and bed rest. This model creates the opportunity to provide targeted interventions via protein supplementation and/or increased dietary protein through consuming high-quality animal-source foods. He illustrated that nutritional support, particularly enhanced protein quantity, quality, and meal distribution, can help preserve muscle health during periods of inactivity and promote health across the life course.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)615-621
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Nutrition
Volume153
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2023

Keywords

  • disuse
  • meal patterning
  • muscle protein synthesis
  • older adults
  • physical activity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

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