Protein for Muscle Gain, Fat Loss & Longevity with Dr. Gabrielle Lyon

by Mike Mutzel

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Dr. Gabrielle Lyon discusses protein requirements needed to maintain healthy muscle as you age and the latest research about muscle science.




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Key Takeaways:


02:20 Dietary protein and muscle are critical factors in longevity and ageing.  Geriatricians and experts in sarcopenia and ageing agree.

02:55 mTOR’s purpose is growth promotion, not growth initiation. Growth promoters do not cause cancer. mTOR is important for muscle protein synthesis.

03:45 mTOR is in every tissue. It is sensitive to amino acids in skeletal muscle. Glucose, insulin, excess calories, protein, and exercise stimulate mTOR.

05:15 Your ability to survive cancer is directly related to muscle. Obesity is one of the biggest risk factors for cancer. Chronic overfeeding of higher carbohydrate foods stimulates mTOR, not discrete meals of dietary protein.

10:50 Higher IGF-1 is linked with lower all-cause mortality. Exercise increases IGF-1.

14:15 RDA protein recommendation has not changed in 30 years. It is .8 gram/kilogram, which was based on animal husbandry for 18-year-old male soldiers.

15:30 Dr. Lyon recommends 1.6 grams/kilogram, or 1 gram per pound ideal body weight daily.

16:30 The capacity to store protein, other than amino acid reservoir in our muscles, does not exist. Protein restriction should be targeted and cyclical, not be a lifestyle.

18:10 You should not be doing fasting or protein restriction when you are in your 60s. Muscle is the organ of longevity. Protect it at all costs.

20:05 Lean body mass includes total body water, blood, bone, and everything other than fat tissue. We have no consistent way to look at skeletal muscle.

22:05 A new equivalent for muscle mass has subjects ingest D3 creatine and measure the urinary output of creatinine.

22:30 Improvements in lean body mass do not necessarily correlate to improved gait speed or performance.  Adipose tissue had no impact upon performance of geriatric testing.

24:25 Mass of skeletal muscle does not indicate the quality of the tissue. Fat can infiltrate the tissue. CT scan or MRI can measure skeletal muscle.

26:25 Adiposity is a symptom of impaired muscle. Muscle is not part of the obesity and insulin resistance discussion.

27:55 Skeletal muscle accounts for 40% of your body. Skeletal muscle becomes insulin resistant, potentially even before the liver and other tissues. Skeletal muscle is the primary site for glucose disposal.

28:40 Skeletal muscle insulin resistance can begin decades before we cannot manage the consequences of that.

30:25 Obese individuals have more muscle mass, but it says nothing about the quality of that muscle.

31:15 Getting stronger is a proxy for muscle growth and quality. Irrespective of weight loss, exercise can improve triglycerides and HDL.

32:35 Muscle is an endocrine system. Myokines are released when muscles contract. As myokines are released into circulation, they partition the way your food is used. They interact with your immune system. They can counterbalance inflammatory cytokines.

36:45Muscle mass is more important in fracture risk than bone quality. Bone quality will decrease with age no matter what you do.

38:15 Loss of muscle is linked with accelerated degradation of bone. Sarcopenic obesity is the combination of low muscle mass/strength and obesity. Sarcopenia can start in your 30s.

39:45 Muscle capacity is impacted by insulin resistance. Systemic inflammation makes muscle more insulin resistant, which decreases mitochondria, energy, and energy utilization, and increases fatigue.

40:25 Tests Dr. Lyon looks at are fasting insulin and fasting glucose. Your glucose and cortisol tend to run a little higher if you are on a high protein diet. Triglycerides should be less than 100. If you are an athlete or heavy trainer, you will have higher liver enzymes and higher creatinine.

42:15 Bloodwork should include heart and arteries. Dr. Lyon is more interested in APO-B, LPa, and more advanced testing like the Clearly Test that looks at hard and soft plaque.

43:45 There is benefit to cardio. Zone 2 training is beneficial for mitochondrial efficiency, health, and density.

45:45 You need to lift weights. Post puberty, the hypertrophy gains you make are small. You need to continuously train in this way to maintain this tissue.

48:30 Women build muscle mass at half the rate of men.  Being fit and healthy before going into menopause helps to ameliorate symptoms and body composition changes.

52:35 Dr. Lyon recommends supplemental creatine, vitamin D, fish oil, and urolithin A. Urolithin A is a compound that 40% of us do not make. It is like a prebiotic. It can be found in walnuts, raspberries, and pomegranates. It impacts the turnover of mitochondria.

54:30 Vegans should take branch chain amino acids or BCAA with creatine, with a meal. Perhaps 2% or less of the world population can thrive on a vegan diet.

57:25 Your first meal of the day should be between 30 to 50 grams of protein.

58:35 The minimum amount of protein needed to stimulate muscle protein synthesis is about 30 grams, optimally 50 grams. Red meats are more nutrient dense than white meat.

01:00:25 We cannot eat our way out of climate change.

01:06:50 As children grow, a critical natural strength develops. The window for this closes at adulthood. Keep your kids active.


  1. This! Exactly! The most important information I’ve heard that retrains my brain about how to look at health, muscle and longevity. Yes let’s get creatinine testing out for us clinicians to properly w/u a real marker of health MUSCLE! I’ll follow Dr Lyon’s to keep up with this.

    Really appreciate the level you are both at here with our health! I’m loading my young boys up on Dr Lyons’ protien requirement intake dosing…NOT THE RDA!

    So if 4 oz of protein for 3 meals….12oz of meat is 28gm x 12ounces = 336gm …Am I doing this math correctly? Seems a bit low for what I have some of my patient’s on. So to reduce this would be like 2oz of protien a meal….I think I need help teach with my math & understanding perhaps:)

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