Effects of protein supplementation combined with exercise intervention on frailty indices, body composition, and physical function in frail older adults

Chun De Liao, Pi Hsia Lee, Dun Jen Hsiao, Shih Wei Huang, Jau Yih Tsauo, Hung Chou Chen, Tsan Hon Liou

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

7 Citations (Scopus)


Aging poses a high risk of lean mass loss, which can be effectively improved through resistance exercise training (RET), or multicomponent exercise training (MET) as well as nutrition supplementation, such as protein supplementation (PS). This study investigated the effects of PS plus exercise training on frail older individuals. A comprehensive search of online databases was performed to identify randomized controlled trials (RCTs) that reported the efficacy of PS combined with RET or MET in frail older individuals. The included RCTs were analyzed through a meta-analysis and risk-of-bias assessment. We finally included 22 RCTs in the meta-analysis, with a mean (range/total) Physiotherapy Evidence Database score of 6.7 (4–9/10). PS plus exercise training significantly improved the frailty status (odds ratio = 2.77; p = 0.006), lean mass (standard mean difference (SMD) = 0.52; p < 0.00001), leg strength (SMD = 0.37; p < 0.00001), and walking speed (SMD = 0.32; p = 0.002). Subgroup analyses revealed that PS plus MET exert significant effects on frailty indices, whereas PS plus RET further improves lean mass. Our findings suggest that PS plus RET as well as MET is effective in improving frailty status, lean mass, muscle strength, and physical mobility in frail older individuals.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1916
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2018



  • Exercise training
  • Frailty
  • Lean body mass
  • Physical function
  • Protein supplementation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

Cite this