A recently published meta-analysis shows that whey protein, either as a supplement combined with resistance exercise or as part of a weight-loss or weight-maintenance diet, may provide men and women benefits related to body composition (J Am Coll Nutr. 2014 Apr;33(2):163-75).
The meta-analysis covered 14 randomized, controlled trials with a total of 626 adult participants. In weight loss studies that used whey protein to replace calories in the diet, participants had an average decrease in body weight of 9.2 pounds, compared to baseline values with whey protein intake. The researchers also found that after analyzing muscle protein synthesis studies that included resistance exercise along with whey provision, participants had a significant increase in lean body mass, averaging 4.9 pounds.
"There is a growing body of research that supports the benefits of whey protein for weight maintenance and lean body mass," said Dominik D. Alexander, Ph.D., MSPH, principal investigator. "By conducting this meta-analysis we were able to better valuate the collective power of each individual study. The results indicate that there is something unique about whey protein, compared to other protein sources and carbohydrates, when it comes to building lean body mass and maintain or losing weight."
This meta-analysis is one of several studies supported by the Whey Protein Research Consortium, an international partnership of dairy cooperatives, associations, processors and multinational companies working together to support whey research.