Study Finds Whey Protein Improves Blood Pressure and Cardiovascular Risk Factors in Overweight Individuals
Numerous studies have found that the consumption of dairy products is associated with a reduction in blood pressure. Most often, the much–touted calcium content of dairy receives the lion’s share of the credit for this anti–hypertensive effect; but recently, researchers have begun to find that unique proteins found in dairy may also be partly responsible.
Research published in the July 2010 issue of the journal, Obesity, showed that, in overweight individuals, whey protein was able to reduce both systolic and diastolic blood pressure. Unlike the other milk protein, casein, however, whey protein was also able to reduce augmentation index – an indirect measure of arterial stiffness which has come to be seen as a useful marker of cardiovascular risk.
Quote from the above study:
Augmentation index (AI) was significantly lower from baseline at 12 weeks (P = 0.021) in the whey group. AI decreased significantly in the whey group at 12 weeks compared to control (P = 0.006) and casein (P = 0.006)… This study demonstrated that supplementation with whey protein improves blood pressure and vascular function in overweight and obese individuals.
So, in this study we yet again find evidence that protein structures unique to whey impart significant and largely unsuspected biological activity when ingested. Research such as this adds to the accumulated evidence in the scientific literature showing that whey proteins need to be largely undamaged and unaltered to exert their full biological activity. This fact, however, is rarely mentioned by those selling whey protein supplements.
Instead, many sellers of whey protein perpetuate the overly–simplistic notions that protein simply contributes the “building blocks” for the body’s tissues, and that a protein’s quality is solely a function of its amino acid profile or digestibility. In protein supplement advertising, for example, we find highly denatured whey protein concentrates, being touted for their “branched chain amino acid” content, and highly denatured hydrolyzed whey protein isolates touted for the speed of their absorption. Both angles, however, amount to little more than marketing spin. More often than not, the true nutritional value of high–quality, properly–processed whey protein is completely ignored.
The fact is that many of the most intriguing biological benefits of whey protein – like the effects on blood pressure and cardiovascular risk factors found in the study above – are dependent upon unique protein structures which may be destroyed if whey protein isn’t processed properly.
Research such as this is why we at Integrated Supplements are proud to produce our whey protein using only the patented CFM® Whey Protein Isolate – which contains the highest level of active, undenatured, and unaltered whey protein available in any whey protein supplement.
We’ll have more research soon – stay tuned…