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Consuming whey protein during exercise has been shown to reduce muscle damage, increase endurance, and promote faster muscle recovery.
Proceedings of Whey Protein Symposia Published

Current Awareness by Dairy Management, Inc.
February 2008

The proceedings of an NDC-sponsored symposium, "Whey Protein: Physiological Effects and Emerging Roles in Human Health", was published in the December issue of the Journal of the American College of Nutrition. It was presented at the annual meeting and food expo of the Institute of Food Technologists, June 26, 2006. Three papers address various aspects of whey protein nutrition, including protein’s effect, along with resistance training, on the body composition of older adults; the role of whey protein in food intake regulation and satiety; and emerging health properties of whey protein. Below are selected highlights:

"Whey Proteins in the Regulation of Food Intake and Satiety"

Whey protein, an inexpensive source of high nutritional quality protein, "has potential to contribute to the regulation of body weight by providing satiety signals that affect both short-term and long-term food intake regulation", state the authors of this review. Results of short-term studies, where whey is consumed in higher amounts than are provided by usual serving sizes of dairy products, demonstrate:

  • "Whey protein reduces short-term food intake relative to placebo, carbohydrate and other proteins. "
  • "Whey protein affects satiation and satiety by the actions of :
    1. whey protein fractions per se
    2. bioactive peptides
    3. amino acids released after digestion
    4. combined action of whey protein and/or peptides and/or amino acids with other milk constituents. "
  • "Whey ingestion activates many components of the food intake regulatory system."
  • "Whey protein is insulinotropic, and whey-born peptides affect the rennin-angiotensin system. "

The authors conclude, "Whey protein has potential as an added component in dietary plans and in functional foods aimed at control of appetite and body weight and in the management of the metabolic consequences of excess body fat." [Luhovyy BL, Akhavan T, and Anderson GH, J Am College Nutr, 26(6): 704S-712S, 2007]

"Emerging Health Properties of Whey Proteins and Their Clinical Implications"

"There is a growing appreciation that milk, and in particular whey, contains components that not only provide nutrition, but can also prevent and attenuate disease, or augment conventional therapies, when delivered in amounts that exceed normal dietary intakes", states the author of this review. The paper discusses the diverse array of functional properties of whey proteins, peptides, and bioactive components that affect different biological processes and organ systems. The author says, "One of the most promising applications of whey proteins is in the augmentation of conventional therapies," such as combining therapy with lactoferricin B and the drug, tamoxifen, for the treatment of breast cancer, and feeding encapsulated lactoferrin in conjunction with triple antiobiotic therapy, to eradicate H. pylori infection.

There are a number of whey protein products on the market for treatment of a diverse array of conditions. For example, Immunocal (www.immunocal.com), a whey protein concentrate from Immunotec Research, is marketed for the treatment of glutathione deficiency, high oxidative stress, and immune deficiency; Stolle Milk Biologics (www.smbimilk.com) markets Microlactin, an ingredient that the company advertises may alleviate osteoarthritis; and Davisco Foods International Inc. (www.daviscofoods.com) markets BioZate 1, a hydrolyzed whey protein rich in bioactive peptides, that Davisco Foods claims lowers blood pressure and cholesterol (statement not evaluated by the FDA). The paper gives other examples of whey protein products already on the market or preparing for market introduction. "It can be expected that dairy food scientists will be gainfully employed for quite some while," concludes the author. [Krissansen GW, J Am College Nutr, 26(6): 713S-723S, 2007]

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