Alcohol Consumption Reduces the Beneficial Influence of Protein Intake on Muscle Mass in Middle-Aged Korean Adults: A 12-Year Community-Based Prospective Cohort Study

Eunjin So, Hyojee Joung
Nutrients 2019 September 7, 11 (9)
The influence of alcohol consumption on the association of protein intake with muscle mass was assessed using data from the Korean Genome and Epidemiology Study. Dietary protein intakes of 4412 middle-aged participants with normal baseline muscle mass were assessed using a semi-quantitative Food Frequency Questionnaire, and baseline alcohol consumption data (e.g., frequency and amount) were collected using a structured questionnaire. The skeletal muscle mass index (SMI), defined as the weight-adjusted skeletal muscle mass, was measured using multi-frequency bioelectrical impedance analyses every 2 years until the study endpoint. Low muscle mass was defined as a SMI <2 standard deviations below the sex-specific normal mean for a young reference group. During a 12-year follow-up, 395 subjects developed a low SMI. After multivariate adjustments, high protein intake (≥1.2 g/kg body weight (BW)) was shown to reduce the risk of low SMI development in both men (hazard ratio (HR): 0.24; 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.12, 0.51; p for trend < 0.001) and women (HR: 0.29; 95% CI: 0.16, 0.53; p for trend < 0.001), compared with low protein intake (<0.8 g/kg BW). Alcohol consumption attenuated the protective influence of protein intake against low SMI development in women (HR: 0.64; 95% CI: 0.18, 2.25; p for trend = 0.478). Among the total subjects, heavy drinkers with high protein intake were not significantly associated with the development of a low SMI (HR: 0.20; 95% CI: 0.03, 1.50; p = 0.117). Additional research should clarify the dose-response effects of alcohol consumption on muscle mass relative to daily protein intake.


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