Intake of plant-based protein and recommended protein intake are associated with a lower risk of osteosarcopenic adiposity (co-occurrence of osteopenia/osteoporosis, sarcopenia, and adiposity) in elderly Korean men.
Osteosarcopenic adiposity (OSA) syndrome is defined as the concurrent presence of osteopenia/osteoporosis, sarcopenia, and adiposity and leads to negative functional and metabolic outcomes in late adulthood. This study aimed to investigate the association between OSA and protein intake in adults aged 50 or older.
A population-based, cross-sectional survey was conducted using the Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2008–2009 data and included 645 men and 706 women aged 50 or older. Subjects were classified into normal and OSA groups. Protein intake was analyzed using the 24-h recall method.
There was no significant difference in the intake of total protein and animal-based protein between normal and OSA groups. However, in males, the intake of plant-based protein (p = 0.0031) was significantly lower in the OSA group than that in the normal group. Further, the protein intake in the OSA group was 0.96 g/kg/day, which was significantly lower than that in the normal group (1.06 g/kg/day; p = 0.0203). After adjusting for confounding factors, men over 65 years old who consumed less than the recommended nutrient intake (RNI) of 0.91 g/kg/day had 5.82 times higher risk of OSA compared with subjects consuming protein equal to or greater than the RNI amount (95% CI 1.81–18.66).
In conclusion, a protein intake of RNI or more is associated with a lower risk of OSA in Korean elderly men.