Whey Protein May Help Reduce Heart Disease Risk Factors
Whey protein is most famous for its use by body builders to help boost muscle mass. However, a recent study suggests that drinking whey protein shakes daily may also reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke by up to 8%.
Participants in the study included 42 people between the ages of 30 and 77 with a mildly elevated blood pressure range of 120 (systolic) over 80 (diastolic) mm haemoglobin to 159 over 99. They were instructed to drink either two shakes containing 56 grams of whey protein daily for eight weeks or a maltodextrin supplement as a control.
At the conclusion of the study, the researchers noted a 3.9 mmHg reduction in overall blood pressure and a 2.5 mm Hgb reduction of diastolic blood pressure over a 24 hour period. They also noted a 5% reduction in total cholesterol, and a 12% reduction in triacylglycerol when compared with the control group. Triacylglycerol isa fat found in the blood that is associated with higher risk of cardiovascular disease.
Researchers from the University of Reading in the UK conducted the study. It was published on October 26, 2016, in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Whey protein is one of the two proteins found in milk, but is only approximately 1% of the composition of milk. It is obtained as a byproduct of cheese making and can be purchased in powder form from health food stores. Additionally, it can be found in yogurt and in ricotta cheese, which is one of the only cheeses that do not have the whey removed.
Previous studies suggest that it may help diabetics manage their glucose levels, aid with weight loss, improve blood flow in the arteries, and lower blood pressure.