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OsteoStrong Fact Sheet: Protein for  Bones and Muscles Health

The Power of Protein

  • Role: Fundamental in muscle growth, tissue repair, and bone strength.
  • Quality Matters: Not all proteins are equal in their impact on the body’s infrastructure.

DIAAS Score: Evaluating Protein Quality

  • Digestible Indispensable Amino Acid Score (DIAAS): Measures amino acid usage efficiency in proteins.
  • Complete Proteins: Contain all essential amino acids, receiving higher DIAAS scores.
  • Example: 1 small Beef steak = 3 large peanut butter sandwiches; beef contains complete amino acids, while peanuts lack some essential amino acids.

Importance of Complete Proteins

  • Sources: Meat, fish, eggs, dairy, quinoa, and soy.
  • Function: Provide essential amino acids for optimal bone and muscle function.

Dangers of Protein Deficiency

  • Consequences: Weak muscles, brittle bones, increased fracture risk.
  • Symptoms: Muscle weakness, fatigue, frequent illness, compromised immune and bone health.

Risks of Extreme Diets and Light Body Weight

  • Calorie Restriction: Can lead to inadequate protein intake, muscle maintenance issues, and reduced bone density.
  • Muscle Loss: Body may break down muscle tissue for energy in extreme diets.
  • Bone Strength: Compromised by low body weight and nutritional deficiencies.

Minimum Protein Threshold

  • Recommendation for Active Older People: At least 1.2 grams of protein per lean kilogram of body weight.
  • Children, Pregnant and Breastfeeding Women: require higher protein intake.
  • FDA Daily Minimum: 0.8 grams per kg weight, considered too low by many experts for rebuilding weakened muscles and bones ScienceDirecthttps://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1525861013003265

Essential Role of Protein in Health

  • Beyond Muscles: Integral for overall body strength and health, regardless of age.
  • DIAAS Score: Highlights the importance of prioritising protein quality.
  • Dietary Inclusion: Emphasis on incorporating complete proteins, suitable for both omnivores and those on plant-based diets.


It has been reported that up to half of older Australians are not getting enough protein to support good bone and muscle health.

Protein is crucial for bones and muscle building and for maintaining overall strength and health. Understanding the importance of protein quality and ensuring sufficient intake of complete proteins are key steps towards supporting bone and muscle health, especially as one ages.


The information provided here is for general informational purposes only and is not intended to be medical advice. Always seek the guidance of your doctor or other qualified health professional with any questions you may have regarding your health or a medical condition.
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