A recently posted editorial was released asking the questions: Should postmenopausal women eat more protein? Or do the elite just exercise and eat better?? To answer these questions, the editorial focused on an observational, cross-sectional study by Silva and Spritzer, that monitored common health markers such as body composition, metabolism, cardiovascular biomarkers and skeletal muscle index (SMI).? SMI can be used to monitor to continued health of bone density and is determined by adding a women?s total lean masses in their legs and arms and dividing by their height squared.
The study found that women with previously low protein diets should increase protein intake to reduce the risk of low skeletal muscle mass.? The editorial challenged this finding, arguing that due to the study design of Silva and Spritzer experiment, the women who had higher SMI were better educated, exercised more and ate larger meals with higher protein content and additionally of higher socioeconomic status and able to afford better nutrient dense food. These factors were not accounted for in the study and although the data are clear for this cohort, they findings may not be associated with protein intake but better overall health and nutrition status of the participants. The study should be repeated across a group of varying socioeconomic statuses.