Potato Proteins Can Help Women Keep Muscle

Category: Health


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. alternative / ɔlˈtɜr nə tɪv / (adj) – different from usual

    The researchers are looking for alternative fuel sources that are more eco-friendly.

  2. maintain / meɪnˈteɪn / (v) – to keep something in good condition

    Regular exercise and a healthy diet help maintain her figure.

  3. consume / kənˈsum / (v) – to take in food or drinks

    My son can consume two boxes of milk a week.

  4. derive / dɪˈraɪv / (v) – to get something from a source

    Butter and cheese are derived from cow’s milk.

  5. placebo / pləˈsi boʊ / (n) – a medicine, pill, or any form of treatment that looks real but does not have any actual physical effect

    The patient claims that the placebo made her feel better.


Read the text below.

New research suggests that potatoes are a good alternative source of protein that can help women maintain their muscle.

The study was done by scientists from McMaster University and was published in the journal Nutrients. Results showed that protein from potatoes caused an increased rate of protein production in the muscle of participants who consumed it.

This finding shows that potato protein is comparable to protein from animals. Usually, protein derived from plants is hard to process and lacks some essential amino acids that the human body needs to maintain muscle health. In comparison, animal-derived protein is digested more easily and has all the necessary amino acids.

The researchers studied potato-derived protein by testing it on women under 30. Prior to the study, all the participants were getting the recommended amount of protein per day. The first group of participants was given additional protein from potatoes in the form of pudding, which doubled their daily protein consumption. Meanwhile, the other group was given a placebo that did not contain the potato protein.

The study proved that protein derived from some plants is effective in maintaining muscle health. It also highlighted the benefits of extracting proteins from potatoes, which are a non-traditional source of protein.

With the increasing demand for protein worldwide, the study claims that plant-based protein may be a good addition to sources derived from animals.

Sara Oikawa, lead author of the study, said that because of the study’s results, more studies on plant-based protein sources are likely to emerge in the future.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

• Do you think it is important to monitor how much protein you consume daily? Why or why not?
• After reading the article, do you think you should eat more potatoes? Why or why not?

Discussion B

• Do you think it is important to find alternative sources of various nutrients (e.g. vitamins, carbohydrates)? Why or why not?
• Do you think it is easy for people to include nutrient-rich food in their diet? Why or why not?