Atkins for the old, Mediterranean for the middle-aged

By 12. maart 2014Blog, Health, Nutrition

A high protein diet is good in old age, but detrimental to health in middle age, at least according to a paper published in the journal Cell Metabolism this month.

It had been previously shown that mice and men deficient in growth hormone receptor/IGF-1  (GHR/IGF-1) had a lower incidence of age related diseases and since protein restriction reduces GHR-IGF-1 activity, the researchers wanted to see if a low protein diet would lead to less age related diseases.

They found that consuming a diet high in animal protein between the ages of 50-65 lead to a 75% higher chance of death in the 18 years following. But, in the older age group of over 65 years old a high protein diet actually seemed to have a protective effect and was associated with a reduced risk of cancer and lower chance of death.

So there you go, eat lean during middle age, but get the egg and bacon out when you hit retirement age. Who says there is nothing to look forward to in old age?

The paper is available from the Science Direct website.