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NMU 103 – Non-Fat Greek Yogurt Can Help Women Speed Their Metabolism Preventing and Reversing Weight Gain via Increased Muscle Protein Synthesis

Nutrition / Natural Medicine Update No 103 (September 5, 2018)

with Dr. James Meschino


Topic: Non-Fat Greek Yogurt Can Help Women Speed Their Metabolism Preventing and Reversing Weight Gain via Increased Muscle Protein Synthesis

Source: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (February 2018)


As we get older our bodies secrete lower amounts of anabolic hormones, which then allows our muscle tissue to break down. This not only makes us weaker and less functional, but it also slows our metabolism down. Muscle tissue consumes a lot of fuel to just to stay alive each day. As you lose muscle tissue after 30 or 35 (years of age), metabolism begins to slow, which makes it much easier to gain weight – as fat mass tends to increase as metabolism slows. A major key to lifelong weight management success is to preserve your muscle tissue as you age and to regain some muscle tissue if your metabolism has already slowed down and you have already gained some weight as a result.

This brings me to an important study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in February of 2018. The study examined the effect of dairy protein on muscle tissue gains in healthy older women, ages 65-75 years old. The study showed that providing older women with 15 gm of dairy protein, twice daily for a number of weeks, increased their muscle tissue (muscle protein synthesis) significantly compared to those consuming the same amount of protein, but from other food sources. The reason that dairy protein is so effective at increasing muscle tissue (muscle protein synthesis) is that it contains a high amount of the amino acid called leucine. The presence of leucine in dairy protein stimulates a key pathway in muscle protein synthesis known as the mTOR pathway. Once stimulated by leucine, the mTOR pathway instructs muscle tissue to absorb the available protein you ingested (amino acids from protein ingestion) and synthesize it into new muscle protein. In turn, this increases your muscle tissue (lean mass), which increases your metabolism, and also helps to improve your strength – something that is very necessary to preserve for everyday living tasks as you age.

So, what dairy food source is the best one to consider. From my standpoint that’s an easy question to answer – Non-Fat Greek Yogurt. Non-fat Greek yogurt contains 15-20 gm of protein in just 6-8 ounces (or one cup) and is very high in the amino acid leucine, which turns on muscle protein synthesis. It is very low in carbohydrates, sugars, fat, and lactose, compared to other types of yogurt and it has higher probiotic levels for improved gut health and digestion. Two servings a day of non-fat Greek yogurt also provides about 400 mg of calcium (almost half the recommended daily requirement) to help preserve bone health. This is another very important consideration for women who are very prone to osteoporosis as they get older.

So, if you want to prevent or reverse a slowing of your metabolism as you get older the research shows that you should consider including two, 6-8-oz servings per day, of a non-fat Greek yogurt into your daily fare. If you add some resistance and cardio exercise to the mix, then you can really speed up the results – reducing your body fat and increasing muscle tissue and muscle tone at a much faster rate.

I have included the research reference in the text below.


1. Devries MC, McGlory C, Bolster DR, Kamil A, Rahn M. Protein leucine content is a determinant of shorter- and longer-term muscle protein synthetic responses at rest and following resistance exercise in healthy older women: a randomized, controlled trialThe American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Volume 107, Issue 2, 1 February 2018, Pages 217–226

2. Greek Yogurt:


Eat Smart, Live Well, Look Great,

Dr. Meschino

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