Protein Intake and Sarcopenia in Older Adults: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Hélio José Coelho-Junior, Riccardo Calvani, Domenico Azzolino, Anna Picca, Matteo Tosato, Francesco Landi, Matteo Cesari, Emanuele Marzetti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background: The present systematic review and meta-analysis investigated the cross-sectional and longitudinal associations between protein intake and sarcopenia in older adults. Methods: Observational studies that investigated the association between protein intake and sarcopenia as the primary or secondary outcome in people aged 60 years and older were included. Studies published in languages other than English, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish were excluded. Studies were retrieved from MEDLINE, SCOPUS, EMBASE, CINAHL, AgeLine, and Food Science Source databases through January 31, 2022. A pooled effect size was calculated based on standard mean differences. Results: Five cross-sectional studies, one longitudinal study, and one case-control study that investigated 3353 community-dwelling older adults with a mean age of approximately 73 years were included. The meta-analysis of four studies indicated that older adults with sarcopenia consumed significantly less protein than their peers with no sarcopenia. Conclusions: Results of the present study suggest that an inadequate protein intake might be associated with sarcopenia in older adults.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Aged
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Geriatric Assessment
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Middle Aged
  • Observational Studies as Topic
  • Sarcopenia
  • anorexia
  • dynapenia
  • elderly
  • frailty
  • muscle strength
  • nutrition
  • physical function
  • walking speed


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