November 20th, 2022

Protein is critically important on a per day volume not a percentage of daily caloric intake. Think of protein more as a vitamin or mineral for basic functions. The current reality for most teenagers to elderly is 30-60 grams per serving 3 x per day to equal 1.5 to 2 grams per kilogram or 0.75 to 1 gram per pound. This is the basic requirement for active protein synthesis and all of the downstream metabolic events that follow. Remember that protein is the base building block of DNA, RNA, all proteins as enzymes and so much more. To be protein deficient is a mess of grand proportions.

For pre-pregnant and pregnant women, this is also critically important as inadequate protein will stunt the newborns muscle synthesis and that is set for life. The child could end up with a low muscle volume which then leads to impaired thermogenesis, glucose homeostasis, and risk for cognitive decline with age. There is a dearth of quality data here, but 2 grams per kilogram of body weight makes the most sense.

The type of protein is also important. Animal based proteins have all of the essential amino acids for growth whereby plant based do not. Plant protein is also absorbed at 60-70% of listed mass weight based on fiber and other reasons. Thus, if you choose to consume only plants, which is fine, be sure to add 30% more mass of protein for the equivalent outcome.

Stay tuned for an amazing upcoming discussion with Dr. Don Laymen on this topic on the podcast.


Dr. M