Dietary protein, exercise, and frailty domains

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Increasing awareness of the impact of frailty on elderly people resulted in research focusing on factors that contribute to the development and persistence of frailty including nutrition and physical activity. Most effort so far has been spent on understanding the association between protein intake and the physical domain of frailty. Far less is known for other domains of frailty: Cognition, mood, social health and comorbidity. Therefore, in the present narrative review, we elaborate on the evidence currently known on the association between protein and exercise as well as the broader concept of frailty. Most, but not all, identified studies concluded that low protein intake is associated with a higher prevalence and incidence of physical frailty. Far less is known on the broader concept of frailty. The few studies that do look into this association find a clear beneficial effect of physical activity but no conclusions regarding protein intake can be made yet. Similar, for other important aspects of frailty including mood, cognition, and comorbidity, the number of studies are limited and results are inconclusive. Future studies need to focus on the relation between dietary protein and the broader concept of frailty and should also consider the protein source, amount and timing.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages14
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2019


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