2013 Annual Nutrition Forum Highlights: Dr. Rajavel Elango

We can put a man on the moon…but can’t agree on how much protein to give him on Earth!

Over the years, it’s been difficult for many health organizations to come to a consensus on how much protein we actually need. Nevertheless, Dr. Rajavel Elango, Assistant Professor at UBC and Scientist at BC Children’s Hospital, is convinced that our current protein intake recommendations are inadequate.

These current recommendations are based on protein requirements established using the traditional Nitrogen Balance method, a method now considered fundamentally flawed. Using a new method to define protein requirements, Dr. Elango’s research has shown that protein recommendations for adults, and older women (65-85 years old) should be at least 30 – 40% higher. A similar re-analysis of requirements for children 6-10 years old showed their recommendation should be increased to about 1 ½ times the current recommendation! Furthermore, protein requirements during pregnancy ranged from 1.2-1.5 g/kg/day, well above the 0.88 g/kg/day currently recommended.

These findings suggest that we may not be on track with our protein recommendations, which can have local and global implications. As further research continues on this topic, it may be time to for health professionals to start considering an update.

Thank you, Dr.Elango, for this interesting and thought provoking presentation. We look forward to hearing the results from your current and upcoming research!

For more details on protein recommendations, take a look at Dr.Elango’s presentation.

About BC Dairy

BC Dairy is a not-for-profit organization representing BC’s dairy farmers.