I just finished reading a fascinating study from Japan recently published in the Journal of the American Geriatric Society: the “OHASAMA STUDY”.
Interestingly, I am noticing more and more studies done in Japan are, in reality, just remake of many studies done in the Western World. The final point being they often have conclusions which are quite different from what we got in our hemisphere. And, believe me, it is not because the said studies are not well done; it is the contrary…
But I will not insist on the subject.
The objective of the OHASAMA STUDY was to determine the effects of an ANIMAL protein diet on the brain functions of older folks in comparison with a diet with proteins of PLANT origin. It was done in one small town in Japan over a period of 7 years with over a thousand persons.
The searchers observed that persons in the highest quartile of animal protein intake had SIGNIFICANTLY LOWER DECLINE in mental functions then those in the lower quartile of animal protein intake. In fact, men who consumed the most animal protein had a 59% reduced risk of higher-level functional decline compared to men who consumed the least animal protein, meat and/or fish included.
The interesting, and practical, part of this study is as animal protein intake is a MODIFIABLE aspect of a diet, it can be used as a PREVENTION instrument for functional decline in elderly adults.
We already know not eating enough protein, especially when aging, is very bad for you health. This is very important because we are talking here about staying independent, both mentally and physically as years go on.
Proteins prevent things like vision loss, incontinence and bone loss, while simultaneously increasing muscle strength, but now we can add a protective effect on the brain.
But again, I will insist on the conclusion of the study: not all proteins will provide this incredible protection and WE NEED ANIMAL PROTEIN to do the job properly.
One reason seems to be animal protein keeps our level of IGF-1 high (Insulin-Growth-factor). It’s a substance responsible for bone growth and development, and we need more and more as we age. If one does not get enough of IGF-1, he can loose 20% of his bone density in one month. And this can be easily fixed by just eating an additional 3 ounces of meat per day. And, as you can see with this study, protein from plant source is not an option.
Humans are designed to eat animal proteins and now we have some proof it is THE way to stay strong while aging.
Aren’t you happy you have decided to go on a Zero-Carb all meat high animal protein diet???