Leeds Beckett research showcased by the BBC
Dr Theocharis Ispoglou was interviewed in the third episode of the five-part series, presented by Gloria Hunniford and Chris Bavin, that cuts through confusion and conflicting headlines about Britain's favourite foods. You can watch the episode here.
The programme looks at how Dr Ispoglou’s research suggests that certain groups of elderly people may need to consume double the recommended daily intake of protein and combine that with exercise in a bid to achieve a higher muscle mass and ultimately an increased level of strength.
“To achieve this a person would need to have approximately 30 grams of protein per meal – which equates to a lot of food on a daily basis,” explained Dr Ispoglou. “This coupled with the fact that dietary protein makes people feel fuller presents an ongoing challenge to older people who tend not to get enough protein and energy through their food.
“An alternative solution to this is using palatable high protein based bars and gels, which we have developed. These contain the required proportions and amounts of the muscle-building blocks (essential amino acids) found in dietary proteins and makes consumption much more manageable, therefore can be taken alongside food to enhance the anabolic effect of food and assist older people in meeting their protein requirements.”
On the BBC show, Dr Ispoglou stresses the importance of protein for our ageing population and also states that it’s never too late for a person, whatever their age, to improve their muscle mass and strength.
Speaking about his experience of working with the BBC, Dr Ispoglou, said: “Food: Truth or Scare is a brilliant platform for us to tell the world about the potentially life-changing work we are doing here at Leeds Beckett University.
“The number of people over the age of 60 is growing faster than any other age group. Although population ageing is a success for humanity it presents a number of challenges of which age-related sarcopenia is one. Sarcopenia is defined as the presence of low muscle mass, together with either low muscle strength or low physical performance. This natural deterioration contrasts with the need to maintain muscle mass and physical function so fundamental to promoting health and independence with age. Nutritional interventions, including our own work, have shown promising results as means to combat age-related sarcopenia. We are looking forward to moving to the next stage of our research where our main objective is to test effectiveness of these nutritional prototypes in larger scale trials in the ‘real world’.”