Whey protein may cut the metabolic risk of a high-fat diet: Mouse
Related topics: Dairy-based ingredients, Proteins, peptides, amino acids,
Cardiovascular health, Diabetes, Weight management, Research.
Whey protein isolate may slow weight gain and the accumulation of body fat
when added to a high fat, suggest new findings from a study with mice.
Animals consuming a high-fat diet supplemented with whey protein isolate
(WPI) gained 42 percent less weight, and had 32 percent lower body weight
than animals fed only the high-fat diet, according to findings published in
the Journal of Nutrition.
"In mice and humans, high-fat diets contribute to the development of
insulin resistance and hepatosteatosis, biomarkers and major risk factors
for type-2 diabetes and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD)," wrote
researchers from the University of Cincinnati and the University of
"In this study, WPI supplementation in mice reduced the severity of several
biomarkers, including the gain in body weight and adiposity, insulin
resistance, and fatty liver," they added. "[.] Whey protein may have
therapeutic potential to reduce the incidence of diabetes and fatty liver
diseases, especially in at-risk individuals who consume excess energy and
fat and lead a sedentary lifestyle."
The Whey Forward:
For a long time, whey was viewed as a secondary product within the dairy
industry, used simply as a means of feed for animals and not as an
added-value ingredient. That, however, is changing, particularly with the
impact of high milk costs on the industry. Such a change has seen whey
proteins become an important nutritional and functional food ingredient,
with extensive use in food applications such as sports beverages, meal
replacement products, baked products, salad dressings, ice creams,
artificial coffee creams, soups, and dairy products.
In addition to its extensive use in sports nutrition products, the new
study suggests that whey protein may also reduce the risk of metabolic
disease associated with a high-fat diet.
Led by Howard Shertzer from the University of Cincinnati, the researchers
fed mice a high-fat diet for 11 weeks. The high-fat diet was defined as
providing 40 percent of calories from fat. Animals were subsequently
randomly assigned to one of two groups: One group received normal drinking
water, while the other received drinking water containing 100 grams of whey
protein isolate (Natural Pure WPI, Bioplex Nutrition) per liter.
In addition to the improvements in body weight and body fat levels in whey
protein supplemented animals, compared with non-supplemented animals, the
researchers also report that whey-fed animals also had 7.4 percent more
lean body mass. Benefits were also observed in analyses of the animals'
liver showed that whey protein supplementation was associated with 50
percent of the lipid droplet and tissue lipid content of the high-fat only
animals, Dr Shertzer and his co-workers also report that the insulin
concentrations of whey protein-fed animals were 29 percent of those
recorded in the control animals. "The protective effect of whey protein was
consistent with higher basal metabolic rates and mitochondrial oxygen
consumption and lower metabolic utilization of dietary lipid, leading to an
overall lower feeding efficiency," wrote the researchers.
"Because the diets utilized in this study were not isonitrogenous, it is
possible that supplementation with any protein would have been effective.
Certainly, the active component(s) of whey responsible for these results
have yet to be identified," they concluded.
See All LifeSource Vitamins Whey Protein Products, Articles, and
By Stephen Daniells
Source: Journal of Nutrition
Volume 141, Pages 582-587, doi: 10.3945/jn.110.133736
"Dietary whey protein lowers the risk for metabolic disease in mice fed a
Authors: H.G. Shertzer, S.E. Woods, M. Krishan, M.B. Genter, K.J. Pearson
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