Muscle up on fruit and veg

| Post published on June 2, 2008
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Muscle mass is naturally lost as we get older and can lead to a loss of strength associated with falls and fractures. The typical Western diet is rich in acid-producing foods, such as animal protein and refined grains; these are thought to have a muscle-wasting effect. However, many people think they need high-protein meat and dairy foods to preserve muscle mass. New research from Tufts University in Boston shows that alkaline foods such as fruits and vegetables (rich in potassium) are more important. Results showed that out of the 400 volunteers, aged 65 or over, those whose diets were rich in potassium had 3.6 more pounds of lean tissue mass than volunteers who consumed less potassium. According to the authors that is almost enough to offset the 4.4 pounds of lean tissue that is typically lost over a decade in healthy over 65s.

Dawson-Hughes, B., Harris, S.S. and Ceglia, L. 2008. Alkaline diets favor lean tissue mass in older adults. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 87 (3) 662-665.

About the author
Dr. Justine Butler
I joined Viva! as a health campaigner in 2005 after graduating from Bristol University with a PhD in molecular biology. My scientific training helped me research and write numerous reports, guides and fact sheets for Viva! including Meat the Truth, Fish-Free for Life, One in Nine (breast cancer and diet) and the substantial report on the detrimental health effects of consuming dairy; White Lies. This accompanied Viva!’s report The Dark Side of Dairy which spelt out the inherent cruelty of dairy farming. We were the first UK group to take on the dairy industry in this way, and many of our supporters go vegan after reading these reports.

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