Normally a staple in the diet of body builders, scientists now believe that protein powder could also be the answer to living longer.

Italian researchers from Brescia University found that protein powder available at health food shops can increase life expectancy by 12 percent for middle-aged people, The Daily Mail reported.

The results came from animal testing, which show an equivalency of living 10 years longer in humans.

“I think our data warrants a recommendation that middle-aged people start taking these supplements,” said Professor Enzo Nisoli from Brescia University.

The study, published in the journal Cell Metabolism, said when the supplement was given to mice, they lived 80 days longer than the mice who were not given the protein supplement.

Researchers believe the same data holds true for humans, and with regular consumption it could significantly extend life expectancy for both men and women.

Nisoli said that those aged 55 and older would also find it could help prevent cardiac, lung problems and diabetes.

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