Protein Quality Measurement Approach in North America

Protein quality has not been an issue in North America populations in the recent past due to the quantity and quality of protein consumed. However, as food sources shift, quality of protein may become a more important consumer decision factor in their individual choice of foods. This proposed in vitro protein digestibility method will provide an alternative to replace animal testing as an immediate, scientifically, and ethically sound approach to encourage more food manufacturers to measure and maintain protein quality in foods being developed with plant and alternative protein sources in North America.


Institution: University of Manitoba

Principal Investigator: Dr. James House

Amount: $130,000

Year: 2022

This work was supported by the IAFNS Protein Committee.

Advancing the Understanding of Specific Essential Amino Acid Intakes and Health Benefits Among Older Adults in North America

Protein and specific amino acid intakes are among the lifestyle factors that can mitigate muscle loss among older adults. Lean mass is associated with metabolic and functional health in older age. Clear linkages between specific amino acids and health outcomes will inform future recommended intakes. Furthermore, comparing the composition of essential amino acids in differing eating patterns (recommended as well as popular trends) can identify opportunities to improve essential amino acid intakes.

Institution: Florida State University
Principal Investigator: Claire Berryman, PhD
Amount Awarded: $98,370
Year: 2020

View this project on the Center for Open Science’s Open Science Framework.

This work was supported by the IAFNS Protein Committee.

Protein Intake and Human Health: Implications of Units of Protein Intake

Current dietary recommendations for protein intake are expressed as grams per kilogram of body weight in recognition of its role as the structural building blocks for lean body mass. Although FAO/WHO acknowledges that this recommendation is appropriate for those in the ideal weight-for-height ranges, it may not be appropriate for those who are overweight. This project will demonstrate a method to express protein intake in nutrition studies that removes confounding among overweight individuals.

Institution: Tufts University
Principal Investigators: Adela Hruby, PhD, MPH; Paul Jacques, DSc
Amount Awarded: $15,000
Year Awarded: 2019

Read more: Protein Intake and Human Health: Implications of Units of Protein Intake

Learn more about the IAFNS Protein Committee.

Nutrient Adequacy and Diet Quality in a Randomized Controlled Trial with Normal and Higher Protein Intake

Foods that are high in protein are often rich in other nutrients that are unique to specific categories of foods (e.g., iron in red meat, vitamin E in nuts). When individuals select a protein-containing food on a calorie-controlled diet, it is at the expense of other foods in the diet. It is unclear what foods or categories of foods are being displaced with higher dietary protein intakes, and what the impact of this is on overall diet quality. The aim of this study is to evaluate nutrient intakes and overall diet quality in women assigned to self-select a higher and normal protein diet during a one-year weight loss intervention.

Institution: Rutgers University
Principal Investigator: Sue Shapses, PhD, RD
Amount Awarded: $25,000
Year Awarded: 2018

Read more:

Higher Protein Intake During Caloric Restriction Improves Diet Quality And Attenuates Loss Of Lean Body Mass

View this project on the Center for Open Science’s Open Science Framework.

Learn more about the IAFNS Protein Committee.


Protein Intake and Healthy Aging

Aging is associated with many physiological and metabolic changes. The role of dietary protein in aging has focused largely on musculoskeletal aging; however, protein may also have implications for age-related physiological functional changes beyond muscle and bone. The aim of this study is to assess the importance of protein intake in mid-life to healthy aging.

Institution: USDA Jean Mayer Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging
Principal Investigator: Paul Jacques, DSc
Amount Awarded: $225,360
Year Awarded: 2015

Read more:

Dietary Protein and Changes in Biomarkers of Inflammation and Oxidative Stress in the Framingham Heart Study Offspring Cohort

Protein Intake and Functional Integrity in Aging: The Framingham Heart Study Offspring

Dietary Protein and Changes in Markers of Cardiometabolic Health Across 20 Years of Follow-Up in Middle-Aged Americans

Learn more about the IAFNS Protein Committee.