Whey protein has potential as a functional food component to contribute to the regulation of body weight by providing satiety signals that affect both short-term and long-term food intake regulation. Because whey is an inexpensive source of high nutritional quality protein, the utilization of whey as a physiologically functional food ingredient for weight management is of current interest. At present, the role of individual whey proteins and peptides in contributing to food intake regulation has not been fully defined. However, Whey protein reduces short-term food intake relative to placebo, carbohydrate and other proteins. Whey protein affects satiation and satiety by the actions of: (1) whey protein fractions per se; (2) bioactive peptides; (3) amino-acids released after digestion; (4) combined action of whey protein and/or peptides and/or amino acids with other milk constituents. Whey ingestion activates many components of the food intake regulatory system. Whey protein is insulinotropic, and whey-born peptides affect the renin-angiotensin system. Therefore whey protein has potential as physiologically functional food component for persons with obesity and its co-morbidities (hypertension, type II diabetes, hyper- and dislipidemia). It remains unclear, however, if the favourable effects of whey on food intake, subjective satiety and intake regulatory mechanisms in humans are obtained from usual serving sizes of dairy products. The effects described have been observed in short-term experiments and when whey is consumed in much higher amounts.
Luhovyy BL, Akhavan T, Anderson GH. Whey proteins in the regulation of food intake and satiety. J Am Coll Nutr. 2007 December Department of Nutritional Sciences, University of Toronto, Rm 329, FitzGerald Building, 150 College St, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.