Episode 82: Stu Phillips discusses the importance of dietary protein and its role in muscle

02.05.2019 - By STEM-Talk

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Our guest today Dr. Stuart Phillips, a professor of kinesiology at McMaster University in Ontario, Canada, who is best known for his research into muscle health and the benefits of dietary protein.

Stu is the director of the McMaster Physical Activity Centre of Excellence, a state-of-the-art exercise research and training center. It is devoted to studying and improving the health and well-being of older adults as well as people with chronic diseases and disabilities.

In addition to his work in the kinesiology department at McMaster, Stu is adjunct professor in the university’s School of Medicine. He is a fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine and the American College of Nutrition. He received the New Investigator Award from the Canadian Institutes for Health Research, the Ontario Premier's Research Excellence Award, and the Young Investigator Award from Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology.

 In today’s interview we discuss:

 [00:08:19] Dawn introduces the importance of dietary protein and its role in muscle health, and tissue regeneration more generally, which makes it one of the only macro nutrients we need on a daily basis.

[00:10:59] A recent study (2017) showed that whole eggs promoted a greater amount of muscle protein synthesis than egg whites, suggesting that there may be benefits to the extra nutrients found in the egg yolk.

[00:12:53] Why Stu believes the recommended daily allowance for protein is too low.

[00:14:06] The differences between animal and plant-based protein.

[00:16:31] The phenomenon of muscle synthesis (anabolism) and catabolism.

[00:17:54] Highlights of the recent findings coming out of Kevin Tipton’s group which indicates that the dose-response relationship may depend on the amount of muscle tissue that was recruited during exercise, with the ingestion of 40 g protein further increasing muscle protein.

[00:20:43]A 2013 paper from Stu’s group titled, “Dose-dependent responses of myofibrillar protein synthesis with beef ingestion are enhanced with resistance exercise in middle-aged men.”

[00:27:52] Stu’s thoughts on the recommendation of pre-sleep protein feeding.

[00:37:52] An overview of the Physical Activity Centre of Excellence, a state-of-the-art, exercise research and training lab at McMaster.

[00:43:37] The importance of maintaining healthy functional muscle mass and function as we move into middle and later life.

[00:46:56] Stu’s paper,  “Muscle Disuse as a Pivotal Problem in Sarcopenia-Related Muscle Loss and Dysfunction.”

[00:50:25] The need to add more protein to our diets as we get older, which is something that Dr. Valter Longo discussed on episode 64 of STEM-Talk.

[00:56:24 How fasting affects muscle protein turnover, which were topics covered in episode 7 of STEM-Talk, an interview with Mark Mattson, and episode 79, which was an interview with Satchin Panda, author of the “The Circadian Code.”

[00:57:32] Whether a ketogenic diet with sufficient protein would in any way be detrimental to muscle mass.

[01:05:47] Stu’s thoughts on a study that was conducted on behalf of the American College of Sports Medicine that found supplementation with HMB failed to enhance body composition to a greater extent than a placebo.

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