The Benefits of Protein for Healthy Aging

By Leo Gil

In the past, the protein market focused on bodybuilding, overlooking the additional benefits of this very complete nutrient class. New research is revealing that protein may also assist with reducing the effect that aging has on our bodies.

Through studies performed on mice, conducted by the Harvard Stem Cell Institute, researchers demonstrated that protein “can make the failing hearts in aging mice appear more like those of young healthy mice… (It) also improves brain and skeletal muscle function in aging mice”[1].

Another study revealed that whey protein, in particular, assists with healthy aging. It appears that whey protein supports glutathione production in our bodies[2]. Glutathione, found within our body’s cells, supports the immune system and acts as an antioxidant. This is important because older cells contain from 20% to 30% less glutathione than newer cells, so increasing its levels in our bodies helps slow down the aging process.[3]

Finally, whey protein also plays a significant role in boosting the metabolism, through a process known as thermogenesis[4]. With age the metabolism starts to slow down, increasingly the likelihood of weight gain. By supporting the metabolism with whey protein, we can help our bodies maintain a healthy weight as we age.