Mycoprotein represents a bioavailable and insulinotropic non-animal-derived dietary protein source: a dose-response study

Br J Nutr. 2017 Nov;118(9):673-685. doi: 10.1017/S0007114517002409. Epub 2017 Oct 11.


The anabolic potential of a dietary protein is determined by its ability to elicit postprandial rises in circulating essential amino acids and insulin. Minimal data exist regarding the bioavailability and insulinotropic effects of non-animal-derived protein sources. Mycoprotein is a sustainable and rich source of non-animal-derived dietary protein. We investigated the impact of mycoprotein ingestion, in a dose-response manner, on acute postprandial hyperaminoacidaemia and hyperinsulinaemia. In all, twelve healthy young men completed five experimental trials in a randomised, single-blind, cross-over design. During each trial, volunteers consumed a test drink containing either 20 g milk protein (MLK20) or a mass matched (not protein matched due to the fibre content) bolus of mycoprotein (20 g; MYC20), a protein matched bolus of mycoprotein (40 g; MYC40), 60 g (MYC60) or 80 g (MYC80) mycoprotein. Circulating amino acid, insulin and uric acid concentrations, and clinical chemistry profiles, were assessed in arterialised venous blood samples during a 4-h postprandial period. Mycoprotein ingestion resulted in slower but more sustained hyperinsulinaemia and hyperaminoacidaemia compared with milk when protein matched, with overall bioavailability equivalent between conditions (P>0·05). Increasing the dose of mycoprotein amplified these effects, with some evidence of a plateau at 60-80 g. Peak postprandial leucine concentrations were 201 (sem 24) (30 min), 118 (sem 10) (90 min), 150 (sem 14) (90 min), 173 (sem 23) (45 min) and 201 (sem 21 (90 min) µmol/l for MLK20, MYC20, MYC40, MYC60 and MYC80, respectively. Mycoprotein represents a bioavailable and insulinotropic dietary protein source. Consequently, mycoprotein may be a useful source of dietary protein to stimulate muscle protein synthesis rates.

Keywords: MLK20 20 g milk protein; MYC20 20 g mycoprotein; MYC40 40 g mycoprotein; MYC60 60 g mycoprotein; MYC80 80 g mycoprotein; Amino acids; Bioavailability; Insulin; Mycoprotein; Uric acid.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Amino Acids / blood
  • Amino Acids, Essential / blood
  • Appetite
  • Biological Availability
  • Body Mass Index
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Diet*
  • Dietary Fiber / administration & dosage
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Energy Metabolism
  • Fungal Proteins / administration & dosage*
  • Humans
  • Hyperinsulinism / blood
  • Insulin / blood*
  • Male
  • Milk Proteins / administration & dosage*
  • Muscle Proteins / biosynthesis
  • Postprandial Period
  • Single-Blind Method
  • Uric Acid / blood


  • Amino Acids
  • Amino Acids, Essential
  • Dietary Fiber
  • Fungal Proteins
  • Insulin
  • Milk Proteins
  • Muscle Proteins
  • Uric Acid