Practical applications of whey protein in supporting skeletal muscle maintenance, recovery, and reconditioning

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1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Like humans, many companion animals experience a gradual decline in skeletal muscle mass and function during later years of life. This process, analogous to sarcopenia in humans, increases risk for morbidity and mortality. Periods of reduced activity due to injury or illness, followed by an incomplete recovery, can accelerate the loss of muscle mass and function. Emerging research from human studies suggests that moderate amounts of high-quality protein may attenuate the loss of muscle, while preventing accumulation of fat during periods of disuse. Whey protein is a consumer-friendly and readily available source of high-quality protein. It supports skeletal muscle maintenance during normal aging and may also provide anabolic support during periods of illness, injury, and recovery. Ongoing research efforts continue to refine our understanding of how protein quality, quantity, and meal timing can be optimized to support retention of muscle mass and function during aging. Priority research areas include supplementation with high-quality protein during illness/injury to stimulate anabolism by targeting molecular mechanisms that regulate skeletal muscle metabolism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberskab060
JournalJournal of Animal Science
Volume99
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2021

Keywords

  • aging
  • atrophy
  • disuse
  • humans
  • whey protein skeletal muscle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Genetics

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