Emerging health properties of whey proteins and their clinical implications

J Am Coll Nutr. 2007 Dec;26(6):713S-23S. doi: 10.1080/07315724.2007.10719652.


The nursery rhyme "Little Miss Muffet sat on a tuffet (small stool) eating her curds and whey. ..." is recognition of the fact that over the centuries "curds and whey", the two major components of cow's milk, have been widely accepted as part of a healthy diet. Milk provides complete nourishment for the neonate for six months from birth, containing factors that help develop various organ systems including the brain, immune system, and the intestine. Importantly it provides immune protection at a time when the neonates own immune system, though fully developed, is albeit immature. Many adult consumers include cow's milk as part of a healthy diet as it provides protein and essential nutrients, vitamins, and minerals, in particular calcium for strong bones. There is a growing appreciation that milk, and in particular whey, contains components that not only provide nutrition, but can also prevent and attenuate disease, or augment conventional therapies, when delivered in amounts that exceed normal dietary intakes. This paper reviews the emerging health properties of whey proteins and their clinical implications.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Dietary Proteins / administration & dosage*
  • Dietary Proteins / therapeutic use
  • Food, Organic*
  • Health Promotion
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant Food
  • Lactalbumin / administration & dosage
  • Lactalbumin / therapeutic use
  • Lactoferrin / administration & dosage
  • Lactoferrin / therapeutic use
  • Lactoglobulins / administration & dosage
  • Lactoglobulins / therapeutic use
  • Milk Proteins / administration & dosage*
  • Milk Proteins / therapeutic use*
  • Nutritive Value
  • Whey Proteins


  • Dietary Proteins
  • Lactoglobulins
  • Milk Proteins
  • Whey Proteins
  • Lactalbumin
  • Lactoferrin