Background: Dietary proteins stimulate thermogenesis and satiety more than does carbohydrate or fat; however, less is known about the differences between protein sources.
Objective: The objective was to determine the differential effects of 3 proteins on energy metabolism, satiety, and glucose control.
Design: Energy metabolism, satiety, and glucose control were measured in 23 lean, healthy subjects on separate occasions, before and 5.5 h after consumption of 4 isocaloric test meals in a randomized, double-blind, crossover design. Three meals consisting of 50% protein (whey, casein, or soy), 40% carbohydrate, and 10% fat and a fourth meal consisting of 95.5% carbohydrate were compared with a glucose meal that provided the same glucose load as the protein meals.
Results: The thermic effect was greater after the whey (14.4 ± 0.5%) than after the casein (12.0 ± 0.6%; P = 0.002) and soy (11.6 ± 0.5%; P = 0.0001) meals and was greater after the whey, casein, and soy meals than after the high-carbohydrate meal (6.6 ± 0.5%; P < 0.0001). Cumulative fat oxidation tended to be greater after the whey meal (16.2 ± 1.1 g) than after the soy meal (13.7 ± 1.0 g; P = 0.097) and was greater after the whey and soy meals than after the high-carbohydrate meal (10.9 ± 0.9 g; P < 0.05). The glycemic response to glucose was attenuated 32% by the proteins (P < 0.001) at the expense of a greater insulin response after whey than after glucose (154%; P = 0.02), casein (143%; P = 0.07), and soy (151%; P = 0.03). Subjective appetite sensations indicated that casein and soy were more satiating than whey (P < 0.01), but whey was more "liked" compared with casein and soy (P = 0.025 and P = 0.09, respectively).
Conclusion: The results suggest that different protein sources could be used to modulate metabolism and subsequently energy balance.