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Whey protein enhances fat loss

Posted in..: Research & Development
By Dwayne Jackson
Apr 20, 2011
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For decades research has shown that combining weight training with a high protein diet results in great muscular gains.  As such, protein supplementation is necessary for bodybuilders, sports athletes, and those just interested in keeping fit to reach their muscular potential.
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This importance cannot be overstated, as protein makes up approximately 80% of the dry-weight of skeletal muscle and growing muscle cells need an abundant and constant supply of amino acids for renewal, repair and synthesis of new proteins. For years whey isolate has been the king of muscle building proteins. However, recent research now puts whey protein on the list as a fat-loss and anti-catabolic supplement.

Scientists from the Minnesota Applied Research Center (MARC) investigated whether a whey protein based supplement, high in leucine and bioactive peptides, would enhance weight-loss in those undergoing modest dieting. A total of 106 age and weight matched subjects were assigned to one of  a control (CTRL) or whey protein (WP) supplement group. In this 12-week double blind placebo controlled study, subjects consumed an isocaloric diet (with standardized protein consumption). Individual dietary calories were calculated as resting metabolic rate (measured by indirect calorimetry) x 1.3 - 500 calories, such that each subject was in an approximate 500 calorie deficit per day. The volunteers ingested either a placebo or whey protein drink 20 minutes before breakfast and dinner. After 12 weeks the investigators observed that both groups had significant weight loss, with no differences in total weight loss between groups. However, compared to CTRL, the WP subjects maintained more lean mass and, in contrast to the CTRL group, their weight-loss was primarily attributed increased fat loss (confirmed by dual-xray absorptiometry (DEXA).

Frestedt JL, Zenk JL, Kuskowski MA, Ward LS, Bastian ED. A whey-protein supplement increases fat loss and spares lean muscle in obese subjects: a randomized human clinical study. Nutr Metab (Lond). 2008 Mar 27;5:8.

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