Background: The influence of protein fractionation on gastric emptying and rate of appearance of their constituent amino acids in peripheral blood remains unknown.
Aim of the study: To examine the influence of the degree of protein fractionation on gastric emptying, gastric secretion, amino acid absorption and enterogastrone response, after the intragastric administration of complete cow milk proteins or their respective peptide hydrolysates in man.
Methods: Six healthy males were randomized to receive one of the following four solutions: whey whole protein (W), casein whole protein (C), whey peptide hydrolysate (WHY) or casein hydrolysate (CAHY). All solutions were matched for volume (600 mL), nitrogen content (9.3 g/L), energy density (1069-1092 kJ/L), osmolality (288-306 mosmol/kg), pH (6.9-7.0) and temperature (37 degrees C).
Results: Solutions were emptied at similar rates, with mean half-times of (mean +/- SEM) 21.4 +/- 1.3, 19.3 +/- 2.2, 18.0 +/- 2.5 and 19.4 +/- 2.8 min, for the WHY, CAHY, C and W, respectively. The rates of intestinal absorption of water and amino acids were similar with the exception of the casein protein solution, for which the speed of intestinal amino acid absorption was slower (p < 0.05). The peptide hydrolysates elicited about 50% more gastric secretion than the whole protein solutions ( p < 0.05),which was accompanied by higher glucose-dependent insulinotropic polipeptide (GIP) plasma levels during the first 20 min of the gastric emptying process. Similar glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) and peptide YY (PYY) plasma responses were elicited by the four solutions.
Conclusions: The rate of gastric emptying and the plasma GLP-1 and PYY responses to feeding with cow milk protein solutions in humans are independent of the degree of protein fractionation and are not altered by small differences in the amino acid composition or protein solubility. In contrast, the GIP response is accentuated when milk proteins are delivered as peptide hydrolysates.