Dairy and Dairy Alternative Supplementation Increase Integrated Myofibrillar Protein Synthesis Rates, and Are Further Increased when Combined with Walking in Healthy Older Women Academic Article uri icon

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  • ABSTRACT Background The stimulation of muscle protein synthesis (MPS) by dietary protein is reduced with age. We hypothesized that twice-daily milk consumption would increase daily rates of MPS in older women relative to a nondairy milk alternative and that MPS would be enhanced by increased physical activity (PA). Methods Twenty-two older women were randomly assigned to 1 of 3 experimental groups: whole milk (WM; n = 7, 69 ± 3 y), skim milk (SM; n = 7, 68 ± 3 y), or an almond beverage (AB; n = 8, 63 ± 3 y). From days 1 to 3, participants consumed a standardized diet (0.8 g protein⋅kg–1 ⋅d–1) and performed their habitual PA (Phase 1, Baseline). From days 4 to 6, participants continued to perform habitual PA, but consumed an intervention diet consisting of the standardized diet plus twice-daily beverages (250 mL each) of either WM, SM, or AB (Phase 2, Diet Intervention). Finally, from days 7 to 9, the intervention diet was consumed, and PA via daily steps was increased to ∼150% of habitual daily steps (Phase 3, Intervention Diet + PA). Deuterated water was ingested throughout the study, and muscle biopsies were taken on days 1, 4, 7, and 10 to measure MPS. Results Daily MPS rates were not differentially affected by the addition of WM, SM, or AB to a standardized diet. There was, however, a significant effect of study phase such that, when collapsed across conditions, MPS was significantly increased from Phase 1 to Phase 2 (+0.133%⋅d–1; 95% CI: 0.035–0.231; P < 0.01) and further increased from Phase 2 to Phase 3 (+0.156%⋅d–1; 95% CI: 0.063–0.250; P < 0.01). Conclusions Increasing PA through walking was sufficient to increase daily MPS rates in older women, irrespective of whether dietary protein intake is increased beyond the recommended intake of 0.8 g⋅kg–1 ⋅d–1. The trial was registered at clinicaltrials.gov as NCT04981652.


  • Stokes, Tanner
  • Mei, Yixue
  • Seo, Freddie
  • McKendry, James
  • McGlory, Chris
  • Phillips, Stuart

publication date

  • January 11, 2022