Whey Protein Supplementation May Reduce Components of Metabolic Syndrome

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Pooled data from a systematic review and meta-analysis indicated that supplementation with whey protein reduced individual components of metabolic syndrome.

Whey protein supplementation significantly reduced metabolic syndrome components, according to literature review results published in Diabetes & Metabolic Syndrome. Specific components included systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol level, triglyceride level, fasting blood glucose level, and waist circumference.

Investigators searched PubMed, Scopus, Web of Science, and Cochrane Library for randomized controlled trials published between January 2000 and May 2019. Desired trial criteria included participants aged ≥18 years older who were overweight or obese; administration of interventions such as whey protein isolate, concentrate, extract, supplement, powder, and hydrolysate over a period of at least 2 weeks; and an outcome assessment of metabolic syndrome components.

The systemic review ultimately included 37 published articles with a total population of >2344 individuals. Pooled estimation results indicated that whey supplementation was associated with significant reductions in all 6 outcome categories (P <.001 for all): systolic blood pressure (weighted mean difference [WMD], -7.46; 95% CI, -9.39 to -6.13); diastolic blood pressure (WMD, -5.68; 95% CI, -6.69 to -4.67); high-density lipoprotein cholesterol level (WMD, -6.07; 95% CI, -7.53 to -4.61); triglyceride level (WMD, -18.19; 95% CI, -22.49 to -15.30); fasting blood glucose level (WMD, -1.42; 95% CI, -1.52 to -1.31); and waist circumference (WMD, -2.76; 95% CI, -3.83 to -1.69).

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The researchers noted that there was significant heterogeneity between studies for each metabolic syndrome component (I2 range, 98.9%-100%).

“This study was carried out [to explore] the effect of whey protein on the components of metabolic syndrome in [patients with] overweight and obesity,” wrote the investigators.

They concluded that their results showed the “effective role of whey protein on metabolic syndrome,” but noted that results of some studies in the review were inconsistent with the pooled results, with data that showed no change in components of metabolic syndrome with whey supplementation.

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Mustafa B, Mojtaba S, Mohammad S, Karim P, Taghdir M. The effect of whey protein on the components of metabolic syndrome in overweight and obese individuals; a systematic review and meta-analysis [published online November 15, 2019]. Diabetes Metab Syndr. doi:10.1016/j.dsx.2019.11.001