Protein To Stay Lean; Battle Aging


The Power of Protein For Staying Lean & Battling Aging

by Isagenix Nutritional Sciences Corporate

Most people will experience a nearly 40 percent decrease in lean body mass and more than 100 per cent increase in fat mass from age 25 to 70. However, did you know that you can reverse this trend with how much high-quality protein you consume and when you consume it daily to keep and build lean body mass with age?

The effect of age on body composition. Source: Schock et al. 1984 (adapted).

New research shows that eating protein at the right times, particularly at breakfast, is primary for maintaining lean body mass with age. Combined with calorie control, it is also important for avoiding obesity. Plus, the effect of protein on muscle synthesis, satiety, and fat burning can also depend largely on the protein’s quality.

Isagenix, for one, has been advising its customers about the benefits of higher intake of quality protein for breakfast with an IsaLean® Shake and IsaPro® for more than eight years. It’s perhaps the single most important way to help people stay leaner and healthier.

Aging is associated with an increasing body fat mass while simultaneously losing lean muscle tissue. This progressive process is characterized by 3 to 8 percent reduction in lean muscle mass each decade after age 30 and can be more than 50 percent loss of tissue in those over 80 years of age.

The change to gains of more fat and loss of lean mass impacts health in a way that leads to frailty, loss of strength, and decline in function and ability to care for oneself. The loss of muscle mass with age, called sarcopenia, is estimated to lead to socioeconomic and health care spending costs exceeding $18.5 million (1).

Most people don’t know they are losing muscle. It often goes undetected by the medical field because fat gain and weight stability mask the sarcopenia (2 & 3). However, the muscle loss, like osteoporosis, reduces quality of life and increases risk of disease and mortality.

Building and maintaining muscle is the most effective way to stave off the negative impact of sarcopenia and resulting risk of chronic disease.

Protein At Breakfast and Throughout the Day

The leading factors of observed sarcopenia are insufficient protein intake along with the lack of regular exercise. Maximizing muscle protein synthesis while watching total caloric intake in a dietary plan amounts to between 25 and 30 grams of high-quality protein per meal (3).

This is contrary to the current RDA, which is woefully inadequate! The RDA does little to promote optimal health in 
the elderly.

Surprisingly, 15 to 41 percent of adults have dietary protein intakes below the current RDAs, which further suggests a need to push 
for higher intakes of protein (4).

Clearly, maximal protein synthesis happens with adequate protein distribution throughout the day, starting with 25 to 30 grams of protein at breakfast (3). Protein at breakfast helps people stay stronger and leaner over the course of their lifetimes.

Putting a Stop To Sarcopenia with IsaLean Shake

When it comes to manufactured foods in the marketplace, protein often takes the back seat and is often replaced with cheap carbohydrates. Protein fortification isn’t easy and usually affects flavor in a bad way.

This is where IsaLean Shake comes into the picture. It makes getting enough quality protein delicious and enjoyable. It can also be combined with IsaPro whey protein to obtain higher amounts if needed.

Not all protein is the same: There are a variety of ways to address quality such as biological value and protein digestibility corrected amino acid score. Whey protein comes out on top by these measures. Also, the concentration of branched-chain amino acids (leucine, isoleucine, valine) is crucial, especially leucine.

Leucine is a rate-limiting step for protein to trigger muscle synthesis. Whey is unique for having a naturally higher concentration of leucine versus other sources of proteins such as meat, eggs, or soy.

IsaLean Shake is key because it is a beverage with quality protein from whey, rich in branched-chain amino acids including leucine, which alone will trigger protein synthesis in muscles with or even without exercise.

The beauty of quality protein is that intake affects short-term and long-term mechanisms for body weight, beyond just muscle mass anabolism.

Quality protein taken every morning also increases satiety more than either fat or carbohydrate do, keeping people fuller longer, and inducing thermogenesis when it is 25 percent of dietary energy intake (4-9).

Source: Johnstone et al. AJCN. 1996: 50, 418-430Source: Johnstone et al. AJCN. 1996: 50, 418-430

The bottom line: quality protein throughout the day leads to better weight management, increased muscle and anti-aging. The end result is weight loss combined with maintained muscle, and a better quality of life.


1. Janssen HC, Samson MM, Meeuwsen IB, Duursma SA, Verhaar HJ. Strength, mobility and falling in women referred to a geriatric outpatient clinic. Aging Clin Exp Res 2004;16:122-5.
2. Paddon-Jones D, Rasmussen BB. Dietary protein recommendations and the prevention of sarcopenia. Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care 2009;12:86-90.
3. Hughes VA, Frontera WR, Roubenoff R, Evans WJ, Singh MA. Longitudinal changes in body composition in older men and women: role of body weight change and physical activity. Am J Clin Nutr 2002;76:473-81.
4. Luhovyy BL, Akhavan T, Anderson GH. Whey proteins in the regulation of food intake and satiety. J Am Coll Nutr 2007;26:704S-12S.
5. Hochstenbach-Waelen A, Veldhorst MA, Nieuwenhuizen AG, Westerterp-Plantenga MS, Westerterp KR. Comparison of 2 diets with either 25% or 10% of energy as casein on energy expenditure, substrate balance, and appetite profile. Am J Clin Nutr 2009;89:831-8.
6. Tappy L. Thermic effect of food and sympathetic nervous system activity in humans. Reprod Nutr Dev 1996;36:391-7.
7. Lejeune MP, Westerterp KR, Adam TC, Luscombe-Marsh ND, Westerterp-Plantenga MS. Ghrelin and glucagon-like peptide 1 concentrations, 24-h satiety, and energy and substrate metabolism during a high-protein diet and measured in a respiration chamber. Am J Clin Nutr 2006;83:89-94.
8. Westerterp KR, Wilson SA, Rolland V. Diet induced thermogenesis measured over 24h in a respiration chamber: effect of diet composition. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord 1999;23:287-92.
9. Heaney RP. Protein intake and bone health: the influence of belief systems on the conduct of nutritional science. Am J Clin Nutr 2001;73:5-6.

Why Isagenix Chooses New Zealand Dairy

Because of its sparse population, New Zealand is one of the few places in the world to maintain a rich natural beauty in a temperate climate with abundant rainfall. Its pristine environment and warmth is a seeming paradise with richly diverse fauna, clean lakes and rivers, and beautiful beaches.

The country is home to more than four million dairy cows. This is about the same amount as there are people on the island, many of whom depend on the dairy industry for their livelihoods.

Two curious heifers on a dairy farm in New Zealand.

One plant is a relatively small operation with a focus on sustainability by sourcing only from small family farms with free-grazing cows that are never given artificial hormones (rBST free). The cows themselves enjoy a quality life on the pasture, are well rested after each milking, and are milked according to season as nature intended for them.

It is this plant that provides Isagenix with dairy protein produced exclusively for IsaLean products (shake, soups and bars) and IsaPro whey protein.

Dairy farming in this way ensures consistency of high quality and purity—that cannot be guaranteed from sourcing in the United States or elsewhere. The fresh milk is guided through a series of fine filters under low heat to separate whey from other dairy components such as fats and lactose.

The gentle system uses no acids and the protein remains in its natural state, undenatured, with protein folds left as they should be. The proof is found in the superior nutritional benefits and flavor.

1 Comment

  1. Tim

    I use a pea protein supplement and it has helped me significantly reduce my symptoms. My uncle sells it and the blog on it is http://www.chrisbyrnes.com/2011/11/16/reverse-and-prevent-sarcopenia/

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