• Dairy Proteins Fuel Personalized Health and Wellness Innovation Opportunities

    By Kristi Saitama March 19, 2021


    Innova Market Insights predicts personalized nutrition will be one of the top global trends of 2021, as nearly two-thirds (64%) of consumers consider options tailored to them as a top priority when purchasing foods and beverages. U.S. dairy proteins are an ideal ingredient solution to meet the unique nutritional needs of consumers and aging societies as global consumers increasingly look for customized approaches to health and search for products that meet their specific lifestyles and goals. The sustainable production practices and ambitious U.S. dairy goals to become carbon neutral or better by 2050 makes the choice for dairy even easier. Understanding the optimal amounts and protein sources are important to reach health and wellness goals, so let’s dive into the key considerations.

    Whey Protein: Quantity & Quality

    A 2020 paper published in Advances in Nutrition, shows the relationship between protein quantity and quality in optimizing health outcomes and showcases research on the benefits of whey protein as a nutritionally high quality, versatile protein ingredient to help support muscle health. Authored by three of the world’s leading protein, nutrition and health experts, Dr. Stuart Phillips (Department of Kinesiology, McMaster University, Hamilton), Dr. Douglas Paddon-Jones, (Department of Nutrition and Metabolism, The University of Texas Medical Branch), and Dr. Don Layman ( Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign), the paper highlights the importance of protein quantity and quality in improving health outcomes related to aging, inactivity and bed rest and blood glucose management with a particular focus on meal-based recommendations. To learn more, watch a quick video highlighting the study’s results.

    Whey Protein Helps Mitigate Negative Impacts of Physical Inactivity

    Additional studies have also demonstrated the benefit of whey protein in mitigating the negative impacts of physical inactivity (due to significant reductions in usual daily activity (i.e. step count)) or short term bed rest (similar to what may happen with acute hospitalization and/or illness) as well as improving recovery during rehabilitation and return to normal activity (Arentson-Lantz EJ et al., 2019, Oikawa SY et al., 2018). These studies may have particular relevance in today’s environment given the restrictions in place due to COVID-19 that have likely limited peoples’ access to fitness centers, public places in general and their overall physical activity. This was highlighted in a recent article by James McKendry, a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in exercise physiology, muscle protein metabolism and aging, McMaster University.

    Protein Content Can Impact Blood Glucose Levels

    As adults age, they typically experience muscle loss, are less physically active and have decreased insulin sensitivity, all of which may impact blood glucose management and can increase the risk for type 2 diabetes. In their 2020 paper, Dr. Philips, Dr. Paddon-Jones and Dr. Layman show that changing the carbohydrate and protein content of meals can impact blood glucose levels in older adults after meals. Balancing the amount of carbohydrates in meals with protein, like high quality dairy protein, can help regulate the blood glucose response after meals and thus help reduce the risk for type 2 diabetes.

    High Quality Protein Supports Muscle Health

    An additional strategy to help support muscle health surrounds the importance of consuming around 30 grams of protein at each meal. Dr. Philips, Dr. Paddon-Jones and Dr. Layman have shown that the provision of ≥2.5 g/meal of leucine in older persons has a “restorative” impact on muscle protein synthesis. The leucine content of individual proteins ranges from roughly 6% in grain proteins to around 12% in whey proteins. The leucine content of a typical meal averages around 8%, which leads to the recommendation for at least 30 g of high-quality protein per meal.

    To learn more about the health and nutritional benefits of U.S. dairy proteins, visit ThinkUSAdairy.org.

    Nutrition Research Dairy Ingredients Market Insights Product Innovation Nutrition Dairy Proteins High Quality Protein Sustainable Nutrition Innova Market Insights
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