Association of Protein/Leucine Intake and Grip Strength Among Adults Aged 19 + years: Analysis of NHANES 2011–2014
Current Developments in Nutrition
Objectives Determine the association of total protein, type of protein (animal, plant) and leucine intakes with grip strength in adults using the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2011–2014. Methods Data from NHANES 2011–2014 for subjects 19+ years were used with exclusions for pregnant and lactating females. Intakes of total protein (TP), animal protein, (AP, including dairy), plant protein (PP) and leucine (Leu) were determined using day one 24-h dietary recall data
... tary recall data after adjusting for complex sample design of NHANES. Regression analyses were used to assess association of protein and leucine intake quartiles with grip strength in adults 19+ years (N = 9214), 19–50 years (N = 5091), and 51+ years (N = 4123) with adjustment for age, gender, and ethnicity. Additionally, regression analyses were used to assess whether consuming ≥20 g of protein at meals and snacks was related to grip strength. P < 0.01 was deemed significant. Results Intakes (mean and Q1 to Q4 ranges in g/d) of TP, AP, and PP were 83.6, 41.5–127; 55.7, 21.0–92.7; and 27.8, 12.5–44.4 respectively and of leucine (Leu) were 6.56, 3.18–10.2 for adults 19+ years. Grip strength (in kg) increased with increasing quartiles for protein among all adults 19+ years (β = 1.34 for TP; β = 1.26 for AP; and β = 0.80 for PP); 19–50 years (β = 1.14 for TP; and β = 1.00 for AP; and 51+ years (β = 0.95 for TP; and β = 1.06 for AP). Grip strength also increased with increasing intake quartiles of Leu (β = 1.35, β = 1.17, β = 1.05, for adults 19+, 19–50, and 51+ years respectively). In adults 19+ y, ≥ 20 g protein at lunch, dinner, and snacks had higher grip strength than those with ≤20 g for those meal occasions. Conclusions Grip strength was positively associated with total protein and leucine intakes in adults 19+ years. Type of protein appeared to become particularly more important in older adults, as this positive relationship was found for animal, but not plant protein, in adults 51+ years. Achieving a protein intake of ≥20 g per meal may be a reasonable and prudent target given the positive association with grip strength seen at lunch, dinner and snacks in this population. Funding Sources National Dairy Council.