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Protein’s Role in Your Immune System

The immune system is a complex network of cells, tissues and organs, including the gut, that defend the body against ailments. Tackling pathogens and infections require a lot of energy, and one of the energy sources for these cells is protein.1, 3 It is important in building and repairing body tissue and getting enough protein through food or alternatives (eg. Ensure Gold or Ensure Gold Plant Based) will help a senior support immunity.8

When Does Immunity Decline Happen?

There is no set age when immunity decreases and it all depends on how well you have taken care of yourself. Just like everything else in your senior years, your body is a little slower at replenishing itself. This includes producing T Cells and white blood cells that attack pathogens which can cause illness. For this reason, it is important for older people to get regular doctor checkups, even if they are not ill. Recovery from injuries, infection, and illness can become long term, so careful monitoring is required when they are going through them.1, 2

How Protein Helps

Protein is the building block of cells, bones, body tissues, and muscles for growth and repair. This essentially makes protein the backbone of antibodies, enzymes and hormones for amino acids that help forge a senior’s immunity.2, 3 You cannot control what pathogens want to stick to you from outside, but you can control how they affect you. So, with a diet rich in high quality proteins, you can help stave off infections. Keep in mind that the body does not store protein too well, adequacy through food is one of the best ways to keep up.5

How Much Serving per Day Do You Really Need?

Though the normal recommended amount is 0.3 grams of protein per pound of body weight every day, seniors need more due to the body’s less efficient processing of it. Older adults require at least 0.5 grams per pound of body weight.3 Luckily, seniors have plenty of food options to get their daily intake of protein. Seniors can get most of their daily protein intake at breakfast time by including beans, oats, or eggs to it. For lunch and dinner, load up on lean chicken, fish, quinoa, whole grain rice, and soybean products.5

If some of the protein rich foods are not your favorites, supplements can help fill in the gaps. For example, you can get part of your daily high-quality protein from Ensure Gold or Ensure Gold plant-based.6 Ensure Gold Plant-Based contains high quality protein from soy, rice and quinoa, making it suitable for vegetarians and those who do not like the taste of milk. Both variants contain 28 vitamins and minerals, which includes 12 immunity supporting nutrients protein, Vitamin A, B6, B12, C, D, E, Folate and selenium, copper, zinc and iron.8 Ensure Gold, rated as No. 1 Physician Recommended Oral Nutritional Supplement in the U.S.7, is formulated with HMB (β-Hydroxy β-methyl butyrate, a metabolite of amino acid leucine)4 to help support muscle strength, vitality and activity. It is recommended to have 2 servings of Ensure Gold a day (6 scoops per serving added to 185ml of water), you can embrace your senior years with open arms and support your immune system to live life well.

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  7. IQVIA, using the ProVoice Survey, fielded 14,459 physicians from January 1, 2021 to December 31, 2021.
  8. Ensure Gold contains protein, Vitamin A, B6, B12, C, D, E, Folate and selenium, copper, zinc and iron, that help support the normal function of the immune system.