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Whey Protein Shows Body Weight Benefits

Supplements of whey protein (like UltraMeal from Metagenics) may improve body weight without restricting energy intakes or habitual diets in obese and overweight adults, suggests a new study by scientists from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Fifty-six grams of whey protein (WP) per day for six months were associated with a two percent reduction in body weight, compared to a group consuming an equal amount of calories from carbohydrates, according to findings published in the Journal of Nutrition.

The study, funded by USDA and the U.S. Whey Protein Research Consortium (USWPRC), found that the whey protein supplement was associated with a reduction in levels of a hormone called ghrelin, which is reported to serve as a hunger signal and may boost food intake.

USDA researchers wrote “habitual consumption of supplemental protein may result in improved body composition and incremental, but ultimately significant, weight-loss.” 

This research is consistent with my recommendations that higher protein diets, and whey protein in particular (Metagenics UltraMeal) helps weight management and body composition.

I recommend exercise and Ultrameal shakes.

USDA researchers recruited 73 overweight and obese adults and randomly assigned them to receive two 200-calorie beverages a day, consisting of 28 grams of whey or soy protein, plus carbohydrate or carbohydrate alone per serving for 23 weeks. No other instructions were provided about diet.

At the end of the study, the researchers report that the whey protein group’s body weight was approximately four pounds lower than the carbohydrate group, and their body fat was five pounds less than the carbohydrate group.

In addition, a one-inch reduction in waist size was reported in the whey group, compared to the carbohydrate and soy protein groups.

“Short-term weight-loss requires energy restriction, and higher protein diets may assist in this acute weight reduction; however, protein supplementation, particularly WP, in overweight and obese individuals may assist in long-term maintenance of body weight without energy restriction.”

The Journal of Nutrition; Published online ahead of print.

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