Increasing the daily amount of protein intake -- known to slow the loss of muscle mass -- can help older adults preserve the ability to perform daily activities as well as prevent their risks of disability, showed a research.
The study found that eating more protein can delay the risk of disability that can obstruct them in performing basic daily and housekeeping activities independently including self feeding, bathing, dressing and participating in social activities.
"Our findings support current thinking about increasing the recommended daily intake of protein to maintain active and healthy ageing," said Nuno Mendonca, lead researcher from Newcastle University in the UK.
For the study, published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, researchers examined 722 participants in North-East England, of whom 60 per cent were women.
They provided researchers with information about their daily diet, body weight, height measurements, overall health assessment (including any level of disability), and medical records.
Older adults tend to have a lower protein intake than younger adults due to poorer health, reduced physical activity, and changes in the mouth and teeth.
The results showed that those who ate more protein were less likely to become disabled when compared to people who ate less protein.
The researchers recommended that older adults should aim to eat about 1-1.2 grams of protein for every 2.2 pounds of body weight.