PERTH, Australia—Whey protein improved blood pressure and vascular function in overweight and obese individuals in a recent study from Curtin University of Technology published in Obesity (2010.18 7, 1354–1359. doi:10.1038/oby.2009.397).
The Australian researchers noted limited evidence suggests dairy whey protein may be the major dairy component that is responsible for health benefits currently associated with increased dairy consumption. Whey proteins may reduce blood pressure and improve cardiovascular health. This study evaluated the effects of whey protein supplementation on blood pressure, vascular function and inflammatory markers compared to casein and glucose (control) supplementation in overweight/obese individuals.
The study subjects were randomized to either whey protein, casein or glucose supplementation for 12 weeks according to a parallel design. In all, 70 men and women with a mean body mass index (BMI) (kg/m2) of 31.3 ± 0.8 completed the study.
Systolic blood pressure (SBP) decreased significantly after six weeks compared to baseline in the whey and casein groups, (P=0.028 and P=0.020, respectively) and after 12 weeks (P=0.020 and P=0.017, respectively).
Diastolic blood pressure (DBP) decreased significantly compared to baseline in the whey and casein groups (P = 0.038 and P = 0.042, respectively) after 12 weeks. DBP also decreased significantly in the whey and casein groups (P=0.025, P=0.038, respectively) after 12 weeks compared to the control group.
Augmentation index (AI), an indirect measure of arterial stiffness, was significantly lower from baseline after 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).
There were no significant changes in inflammatory markers within or between groups.