Protein-supplemented foods are better for you

False. They have no value for healthy people who have enough to eat. Although the world's most important nutritional problem is protein-energy malnutrition, it is now recognised that protein malnutrition is unlikely in otherwise healthy people who have enough food to eat, even where foods with relatively low protein content and quality are part of the staple diet. For some years, the WHO (World Health Organization) recommendation for minimal protein intake for adults has been 0.5 gram per kilogram body weight per day, but this has recently been increased to 0.6 gram in a recommendation from an International Union of Nutrition Sciences (IUNS) committee. The Australia, United Kingdom and United States recommendations have been one gram per kilogram per day for adults, which provides considerable safety margin. For all this, Australian adults commonly consume more than 1.5 gram protein per kilogram of body weight per day.

Against such a background, there is no argument for protein-fortified or supplemented foods in a country like Australia.

Occasionally, increased protein intake during convalescence may be worthwhile for people with excessive protein breakdown or loss as part of disease, injury or surgery.

For sports people, the only situation where an increase in protein intake might be justified is with weight lifters or body builders where muscle mass is deliberately increased. Even here, the prevailing protein intakes in the community ought to be enough. (See comments under ATHLETIC PERFORMANCE CAN BE IMPROVED BY EATING SPECIAL FOODS).

There is some concern that excessive protein intakes may accelerate kidney failure. Bone density may also be reduced. We know more about desirable minimal protein intakes than desirable maximal protein intakes.