Background: Whey protein is a potential source of bioactive peptides. Based on findings from in vitro experiments indicating a novel whey derived peptide (NOP-47) increased endothelial nitric oxide synthesis, we tested its effects on vascular function in humans.
Methods: A randomized, placebo-controlled, crossover study design was used. Healthy men (n = 10) and women (n = 10) (25 +/- 5 y, BMI = 24.3 +/- 2.3 kg/m2) participated in two vascular testing days each preceded by 2 wk of supplementation with a single dose of 5 g/day of a novel whey-derived peptide (NOP-47) or placebo. There was a 2 wk washout period between trials. After 2 wk of supplementation, vascular function in the forearm and circulating oxidative stress and inflammatory related biomarkers were measured serially for 2 h after ingestion of 5 g of NOP-47 or placebo. Macrovascular and microvascular function were assessed using brachial artery flow mediated dilation (FMD) and venous occlusion strain gauge plethysmography.
Results: Baseline peak FMD was not different for Placebo (7.7%) and NOP-47 (7.8%). Placebo had no effect on FMD at 30, 60, and 90 min post-ingestion (7.5%, 7.2%, and 7.6%, respectively) whereas NOP-47 significantly improved FMD responses at these respective postprandial time points compared to baseline (8.9%, 9.9%, and 9.0%; P < 0.0001 for time x trial interaction). Baseline reactive hyperemia forearm blood flow was not different for placebo (27.2 +/- 7.2%/min) and NOP-47 (27.3 +/- 7.6%/min). Hyperemia blood flow measured 120 min post-ingestion (27.2 +/- 7.8%/min) was unaffected by placebo whereas NOP-47 significantly increased hyperemia compared to baseline (29.9 +/- 7.8%/min; P = 0.008 for time x trial interaction). Plasma myeloperoxidase was increased transiently by both NOP-47 and placebo, but there were no changes in markers inflammation. Plasma total nitrites/nitrates significantly decreased over the 2 hr post-ingestion period and were lower at 120 min after placebo (-25%) compared to NOP-47 (-18%).
Conclusion: These findings indicate that supplementation with a novel whey-derived peptide in healthy individuals improves vascular function.