Plant Protein is superior to everything else for healthy aging

Valuable study showing clear superiority of plant protein vs. animal protein, and everything else actually, for healthy aging, with the usual caveats of nutrition studies, so use the information if you want, I don’t think there exist any better.

Observational epidemiological study, prospective, following 50,000 American-based women over 30 years, showing superiority of plant protein.

The body is pretty much a black box when it comes to nutrition, it’s too complicated, except for a few exceptions, so these types of studies help and aren’t that expensive, to figure out what’s possibly the best and valuable with current information.


What if I like both?


Only plant protein when replacing other macronutrients show a beneficial effect on healthy aging (composite of being free from 11 major chronic diseases, no impairment in memory, no impairment in physical function, being in good mental health). So basically plant protein is insanely good for healthspan according to this study result with this methodology, in fact, better than all other macronutrients.

This cohort I would guess the plant protein is mostly from unprocessed plant sources like beans, and nuts. They don’t taste very good (though lentil dishes can be okay, but variety is probably important). I wonder what they ate.


But… according to Peter Attia and Matt Kaeberlein (actually Don Layman) in their protein podcast, there are twenty amino acids the body needs. Eleven (actually 9) of them we can not make and come from actual meat beef, pork, chicken or fish, not found in plant protein.

They also say you cannot compare plant protein to animal protein. It takes a lot more plant protein and still doesn’t have the same effect.

As a carnivore diet kind of guy makes sense to me. I mean, I need some plants for balance, but my main focus is protein from meat. Last night shrimp.

Curious that the study followed women. Women are physically… muscularly…different from men. Maybe plant protein works better for women?


I believe the study result with its caveats, meaning with current information I believe that plant protein is superior to all other macronutrients and animal protein for healthy aging, even for men. I’m not going to sit around and wait for further confirmation in all nutritional evidence, that’s too risky to me.


If someone else posted that study, you would scream “It sucks!”


I don’t think I ever claimed observational studies sucks when there wasn’t other evidence with a more superior methodology. If I did I’ve changed my mind and they are great when such evidence do not exist. It’s for sure better than mechanistic data and for sure better than most mice data.

Are you a vegan or vegetarian? @AnUser

Plant protein is much lower in methionine and isoleucine, and the overall evidence suggests you should reduce your intake of these amino acids to increase lifespan.

This isn’t an approach I’m currently taking, as I’m trying to build skeletal muscle, but in the future I will try cruising on diets which restrict these amino acids.


That’s an all-too-common myth, and I’ve never heard Attia or Kaberlein say that because they know better. All the essential aminos are found in plant proteins, just (generally speaking) lower amounts of BCAAs and methionine compared to animal sources.


What difference does that make?

Hey David - You are right the Amino Acids dialogue was not with Kaeberlein - it is Attia and Don Layman.

Kaeberline and Attia do discuss higher meat protein benefit starting at 50 years higher protein diets are better for you. Link: Go to the 10 minute mark for the key point.

The amino acid needs through meat dialogue is with Dr. Attia and Don Layman a different scientist. The whole dialogue is enlightening. Link: Go to 1:03.00 mark.

There are 20 amino acids - 9 we can not make.


Just checking for bias.


And bias does not matter…

That’s based on mice data. You want observational studies in humans like these, but the benefit was seen even when other macronutrients was replaced in the analysis.


@adriank That would mean a non vegetarian must be seen as biased if they mention meat?

@agetron I have not personally read the studies, but I have seen that people, such as Layne Norton and Attia, say that all plants have all the amino acids and you can be just as healthy and gain just as much muscle on only plants, but as you suggested, the ratios in plants are different and it just takes a more mindful approach.


This part is correct. The part I was correcting was that you said these aminos (essential amino acids) aren’t found in plant proteins, when in fact they are.


Everybody is biased when it comes to diet. It’s so personal no one can be rational. And, hopefully, there are many healthy diet formulas. My personal belief is that extreme diets are for extreme situations. I try to run down the middle but without junk. But I’m biased too.


Your right David - you can get all the amino acids from plants although portions need to be higher based on our abilities to process them and making the right combinations. Why I liked the Attia and Layman podcast. The no brainer approach is eat meat you get them all and done. Also, some people don’t do well on meats - some not so well on plants. Back to genetics and phenotypes.

They all agree no one diet fits all people, or it too would be done and a no brainer. We each have to figure out what is working. I am pretty much an omnivore that is heavier on meat, milk and cheese.


Here’s the study:

A total of 3721 (7.6%) NHS participants met our healthy aging definition. Protein intake was significantly associated with higher odds of healthy aging. The ORs (95% confidence intervals) per 3%-energy increment with healthy aging were 1.05 (1.01, 1.10) for total protein, 1.07 (1.02, 1.11) for animal protein, 1.14 (1.06, 1.23) for dairy protein, and 1.38 (1.24, 1.54) for plant protein. Plant protein was also associated with higher odds of absence of physical function limitations and good mental status. In substitution analyses, we observed significant positive associations for the isocaloric replacement of animal or dairy protein, carbohydrate, or fat with plant protein (ORs for healthy aging: 1.22–1.58 for 3% energy replacement with plant protein).


That’s news to me.

What variety of plants would you have to eat to accomplish that?

Please provide scientific evidence that prove your claim.

I am not disputing the claim, I just want to see the scientific proof.