Acute effects of whey protein isolate on cardiovascular risk factors in overweight, post-menopausal women

Atherosclerosis. 2010 Sep;212(1):339-44. doi: 10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2010.05.032. Epub 2010 May 31.


Objective: The purpose of this study was to investigate the acute effects of dietary whey proteins on lipids, glucose and insulin, and resting energy expenditure in overweight and obese post-menopausal women, a population highly susceptible to cardiovascular disease.

Methods: A three-way crossover design study was conducted where 20 overweight or obese, post-menopausal women were randomised to consume either 45 g whey protein isolate, 45 g sodium caseinate or 45 g of a glucose control in conjunction with a breakfast meal. Blood samples were taken for up to 6 h.

Results: There was no significant change in postprandial incremental area under the curve (AUC) for total cholesterol, low density lipoprotein, high density lipoprotein, non-esterified fatty acids, Apo B48, insulin and leptin between groups. However, there was a significant decrease in the appearance of triglycerides (TG) in the blood by 21% and 27% after consuming the whey meal compared to control and casein meals, respectively, as measured by AUC. There was also a significant reduction by 27% and 32% in the AUC for TG:ApoB48 ratio in the whey group compared to the glucose and casein groups, respectively. There was a significantly lower AUC for blood glucose after the consumption of the whey and casein meal compared to glucose meal.

Conclusion: These findings suggest that a single dose of whey protein can decrease arterial exposure to smaller TG-enriched lipoprotein particles compared to the glucose and casein meals in the postprandial period in overweight and obese, post-menopausal women.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / blood
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / etiology*
  • Caseins / administration & dosage
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Diet Records
  • Dietary Proteins / administration & dosage*
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Energy Metabolism
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hyperlipidemias / blood
  • Hyperlipidemias / etiology
  • Hyperlipidemias / prevention & control*
  • Insulin / blood
  • Lipids / blood
  • Milk Proteins / administration & dosage*
  • Nutrition Assessment
  • Obesity / blood
  • Obesity / complications
  • Obesity / drug therapy*
  • Overweight / blood
  • Overweight / complications
  • Overweight / drug therapy*
  • Postmenopause*
  • Postprandial Period
  • Single-Blind Method
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Western Australia
  • Whey Proteins


  • Biomarkers
  • Blood Glucose
  • Caseins
  • Dietary Proteins
  • Insulin
  • Lipids
  • Milk Proteins
  • Whey Proteins