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Open Access Highly Accessed Commentary

Dietary Guidelines should reflect new understandings about adult protein needs

Donald K Layman

Author Affiliations

Department of Food Science & Human Nutrition, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL 61801, USA

Nutrition & Metabolism 2009, 6:12  doi:10.1186/1743-7075-6-12

Published: 13 March 2009


Dietary Guidelines for Americans provide nutrition advice aimed at promoting healthy dietary choices for life-long health and reducing risk of chronic diseases. With the advancing age of the population, the 2010 Dietary Guidelines confront increasing risks for age-related problems of obesity, osteoporosis, type 2 diabetes, Metabolic Syndrome, heart disease, and sarcopenia. New research demonstrates that the meal distribution and amount of protein are important in maintaining body composition, bone health and glucose homeostasis. This editorial reviews the benefits of dietary protein for adult health, addresses omissions in current nutrition guidelines, and offers concepts for improving the Dietary Guidelines.