Do protein preparations damage our health

Proteins and protein preparations

Why is protein important?

In addition to fats and carbohydrates, proteins (protein) belong to the energy-supplying macronutrients. Regular protein intake is essential for maintaining normal body functions. Because protein is a building material in the body that is essential for anabolic, i.e. H. cell and muscle building processes is responsible. It is also indispensable for blood clotting, immune defense and active movement. If there is no adequate protein supply over a longer period of time, the metabolism is out of its physiological equilibrium - muscle mass begins to break down.

Am I getting enough protein?

The DGE recommends for People over 65 have a daily protein intake of 1.0 g / kg body weightwhich is slightly above the recommended amount for younger adults. This reference value takes into account the physical functionality or the functional maintenance in this age group. This amount is also sufficient for older recreational athletes who train two to three times a week (jogging, fitness classes).

The slightly increased protein requirement in old age can be covered by a normal diet. As a rule, reaching for protein-enriched foods or preparations does not offer any advantages and is also unnecessarily expensive. The protein often comes from conventional foods and consists of mixtures of soy, milk and wheat protein, sometimes also from legumes such as peas or lupins.

However, protein supplements (protein-rich drinking food or shakes) can be useful for people who have chewing or swallowing problems, a reduced feeling of hunger, one-sided eating habits or digestive problems in old age. However, you should pay close attention to added sweeteners and sugar, additives and flavors.

The quality counts

The decisive factor is not so much the absolute amount of protein, but the quality. Ideally, the protein requirement should be covered by both animal and (preferably) plant-based foods.

Foods for a good protein supply without supplements are e.g. B .:

Inexpensive protein combinations can help the body make better use of proteins. It is recommended to combine animal and vegetable protein, e.g. potatoes with egg, milk with cereals, wholemeal bread with cheese. The protein utilization with the combinations mentioned by way of example is even better than with meat. According to this, senior citizens who are vegetarian can also get enough protein.

Extra fortified foods such as B. Protein breads are not necessary.

With liquid protein sources, the protein building blocks are absorbed faster. Low-fat milk and low-fat cocoa are recommended, especially since, in contrast to protein concentrates, there is no risk of contamination with e.g. B. Prohormones emanates from them. These milk and mixed milk drinks should be drunk better by older people who are active in sport than during sport, because the "full stomach" can have a performance-reducing effect.

Products with single amino acids are not helpful.

Consult your doctor

If you would like to eat a higher protein diet because you are now older, a medical examination of the kidneys is recommended before changing your diet. This is because urea is increasingly formed as a breakdown product of protein metabolism, which stresses the kidneys. There is scientific evidence for the case of an already existing kidney dysfunction: excessive protein intake can lead to a further deterioration in kidney function.

When taking protein supplements, carbohydrates are often avoided for an additional slimming effect. This can cause the body to go into ketosis, which is manifested by increased thirst, bad breath, mood swings and digestive problems, for example. In addition to greater stress on the kidneys, this can have a negative effect on the calcium balance, bone health and the acid-base balance. Because more uric acid is formed, this can lead to kidney stones or gout attacks in sensitive people.

The diet should best be balanced and varied. Adequate hydration is very important, also in order to be able to excrete the urea with the urine through a protein-rich diet. Further tips can be found on the website of the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture.

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