Overview of whey protein based bioactivities (including colostrum) in gut and health promotion

Wednesday, July 23, 2014: 3:00 PM
3501C (Kansas City Convention Center)
Anne M Pihlanto , MTT Agrifood Research Finland, Jokioinen, Finland
Raija M Tahvonen , MTT Agrifood Research Finland, Jokioinen, Finland
Abstract Text:

Overview of whey protein based bioactivities (including colostrum) in gut and health promotion

 The high nutritive value and diverse functional properties of milk proteins are well known. In recent years, intense scientific research focused on the identification of factors within bovine milk that may be relevant to  improving human health. The best characterized whey-based bioactive proteins include alpha-lactalbumin, beta-lactoglobulin, immunoglobulins, lactoferrin, lactoperoxidase and growth factors. These proteins exhibit a wide range of biological activities that may influence the digestive function, metabolic responses to absorbed nutrients, growth and development of organs and disease resistance, as well as gut microbiota and microbiome.  Some whey proteins may reduce the risks of  chronic human diseases. Whey protein constituents have been reported to have functional roles in various biological processes and organ systems in geriatrics, and thus help in the management of geriatric health problems through proper nutrition. Whey components have beneficial effects on intestinal health in four areas: prebiotic effects, antimicrobial and antiviral properties, anticancer properties and gut associated lymphoid tissue. Whey proteins are good source of various bioactive peptides which are encrypted within the proteins and can be released during  gastric digestion or food processing by enzymes or microbes.   Whey protein-derived peptides have been shown to exert a wide range of bioactivities affecting the cardiovascular, immune and nervous systems. The efficacy of a few peptides has already been established in animal and human studies.  A number of commercial whey-protein based products with potential health effects are on the market and their number is envisaged to increase on global markets.

Keywords: whey protein, bioactivity, health