Published by Emilie SCOTTI
On May 24, 2018 5:40:42 PM

Nutrition for the elderly : the health-boosting powers of dairy ingredients

By 2050, one person out of every five will be aged over 60, for a total of two billion over-60s worldwide. Ageing healthily and happily is within everyone's reach. So how do dairy ingredients help senior nutrition?

A balanced diet tailored to meet the needs of each individual is key to staying healthy and independent for as long as possible.




The risks of malnutrition increase with age.

Malnutrition is a significant risk among elderly subjects. A number of physiological factors cause an imbalance between nutritional intake and the body's needs/output. As taste and smell sensitivity and perception decrease with age, the elderly can sometimes lose their appetites and simply stop feeling hungry. Dysphagia/oral complications as well as digestive issues can result in nutrients being poorly absorbed. The level of nutrients consumed therefore becomes insufficient in covering nutritional needs, and significant deficiencies occur.

Preventing malnutrition is crucial to staying healthy. Long term, nutritional deficiencies trigger fragility (fatigue, weight loss, loss of muscle mass, bone fragility, risk of falling, immune deficiency, etc.), which, past a certain stage, are irreversible, even with nutritional intervention.

Enhancing nutritional value to fight malnutrition among the elderly

Enhancing the nutritional value in products designed for elderly consumers is essential to preventing malnutrition. It ensures a high level of nutrients are incorporated into small food matrices. The recommended intake level for protein (around 1g/kg/day and other nutrients (such as calcium) is higher for the elderly.



Nutrients that naturally occur in milk can help cover nutritional needs and thus contribute to maintaining a healthy body.

elderly dairy nutrition

Dairy ingredients to boost senior immunity and health

High-value milk proteins (rich in essential amino acids and branched-chain amino acids, lactose-free in some cases) help maintain muscle mass and prevent sarcopenia, dairy calcium helps maintain bone density and prevents osteopenia and osteoporosis, and milk minerals boost cognitive capacity (zinc), cardiovascular health and a healthy immune system while fighting free radicals (antioxidants) and oxidative stress (selenium).

Read our comprehensive report on calcium: Dairy calcium: Nutritional enhancement in the agri-food industry.



 An increasing number of nutritional solutions are being developed in response to the specific needs of elderly consumers, both in terms of preventing and treating the early stages of malnutrition. Armor Protéines' dairy ingredients cover a broad spectrum of product applications (drinks, smoothies and blended recipes, bars, desserts) and meet clients' needs in terms of  nutrition, taste and texture (texturising, modified textures, blended products, etc.).

Drawing on cutting-edge scientific advances and food guidelines and recommendations, Armor Protéines offers a comprehensive range of natural and Clean Label ingredients derived from fresh milk and whey. In its capacity as a supplier of dairy ingredients, Armor Protéines supports its clients in developing tailored nutritional solutions to meet all targeted application needs.


 Find out more about dairy products for healthy aging:Senior Nutrition


Alemán-Mateo H et al, Nutrient-rich dairy proteins improve appendicular skeletal muscle mass and physical performance, and attenuate the loss of muscle strength in older men and women subjects: a single-blind randomized clinical trial, Clin Interv Aging. 2014 Sep 12;9:1517-25

Bradlee ML et al, High-Protein Foods and Physical Activity Protect Against Age-Related Muscle Loss and Functional Decline, J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2017 Dec 12;73(1):88-94

Devries MCet al, Supplemental protein in support of muscle mass and health: advantage whey, J Food Sci. 2015 Mar; 80 Suppl 1:A8-A15.

Gryson Cet al, "Fast proteins" with a unique essential amino acid content as an optimal nutrition in the elderly: growing evidence, Clin Nutr. 2014 Aug;33(4):642-8.

Iuliano S et al, Consuming two additional serves of dairy food a day significantly improves energy and nutrient intakes in ambulatory aged care residents: a feasibility study, J Nutr Health Aging. 2013;17(6):509-13

Iuliano S, Dairy food supplementation may reduce malnutrition risk in institutionalised elderly, Br J Nutr. 2017 Jan;117(1):142-147


About the author Emilie SCOTTI

Emilie is ARMOR PROTEINES' Director of Group Marketing. She coordinates all product-centric projects and implements the brand's communication policies. Over the past few years, she has developed a passion for all things digital, and is working to roll this approach out across ARMOR PROTEINES.