Casein and whey exert different effects on plasma amino acid profiles, gastrointestinal hormone secretion and appetite

Br J Nutr. 2003 Feb;89(2):239-48. doi: 10.1079/BJN2002760.


Protein, generally agreed to be the most satiating macronutrient, may differ in its effects on appetite depending on the protein source and variation in digestion and absorption. We investigated the effects of two milk protein types, casein and whey, on food intake and subjective ratings of hunger and fullness, and on postprandial metabolite and gastrointestinal hormone responses. Two studies were undertaken. The first study showed that energy intake from a buffet meal ad libitum was significantly less 90 min after a 1700 kJ liquid preload containing 48 g whey, compared with an equivalent casein preload (P<0.05). In the second study, the same whey preload led to a 28 % increase in postprandial plasma amino acid concentrations over 3 h compared with casein (incremental area under the curve (iAUC), P<0.05). Plasma cholecystokinin (CCK) was increased by 60 % (iAUC, P<0.005), glucagon-like peptide (GLP)-1 by 65 % (iAUC, P<0.05) and glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide by 36 % (iAUC, P<0.01) following the whey preload compared with the casein. Gastric emptying was influenced by protein type as evidenced by differing plasma paracetamol profiles with the two preloads. Greater subjective satiety followed the whey test meal (P<0.05). These results implicate post-absorptive increases in plasma amino acids together with both CCK and GLP-1 as potential mediators of the increased satiety response to whey and emphasise the importance of considering the impact of protein type on the appetite response to a mixed meal.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Amino Acids / blood*
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Caseins*
  • Cholecystokinin / blood
  • Dietary Proteins / administration & dosage*
  • Female
  • Gastric Inhibitory Polypeptide / blood
  • Gastrointestinal Hormones / metabolism*
  • Glucagon / blood
  • Glucagon-Like Peptide 1
  • Humans
  • Insulin / blood
  • Male
  • Peptide Fragments / blood
  • Postprandial Period
  • Protein Precursors / blood
  • Satiation*
  • Single-Blind Method


  • Amino Acids
  • Caseins
  • Dietary Proteins
  • Gastrointestinal Hormones
  • Insulin
  • Peptide Fragments
  • Protein Precursors
  • Gastric Inhibitory Polypeptide
  • Glucagon-Like Peptide 1
  • Glucagon
  • Cholecystokinin