The Doctors Health Press, a publisher of various natural health newsletters, books, and reports, including the popular online Doctors Health Press e-Bulletin, reports on a new study unraveling how whey protein might benefit the heart.
As reported in Doctors Health Press e-Bulletin (http://www.doctorshealthpress.com/heart-health-articles/put-the-brakes-on-dangerous-heart-problems), a recent study conducted by researchers at the Department of Kinesiology, University of Connecticut tried to unravel just how whey protein might benefit the heart. Whey protein is the supplement of choice for bodybuilders, but what about its heart connection.
Previous research has already shown that whey protein intake reduces cardiovascular risk, but the researchers wanted to know the actions behind this important health benefit. So they looked at the impact of a whey-derived extract on people with an increased cardiovascular risk profile. The participants all had impaired blood flow in their arteries.
The researchers measured brachial artery flow, plasma amino acids, insulin, and endothelium function two hours after ingestion of a whey protein extract. A second group of study participants were given a placebo.
The Doctors Health Press e-Bulletin article, “Put the Brakes on Dangerous Heart Problems,” reports researchers discovered the following.
The research team found that brachial artery flow improvements at 120 minutes were significantly greater in the whey extract group, compared to the placebo group. Plasma amino acids increased at 30 minutes following whey ingestion, and serum insulin increased at 15, 30, and 60 minutes. In summary, the whey protein improved endothelium dilation in the participants.
Endothelium is the inner lining of blood vessels. When your endothelium functions normally, it regulates coagulation of blood, platelet adhesion, and immune function.
In contrast, when your endothelium is compromised, you can be at high risk for several serious complications, such as septic shock, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes.
(SOURCE: Ballard, K.D., et al., “Acute effects of ingestion of a novel whey-derived extract on vascular endothelial function in overweight, middle-aged men and women,” Br. J. Nutr., June 13, 2012: 1–12.)
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