Effect of whey protein supplementation on long and short term appetite: A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials

Clin Nutr ESPEN. 2017 Aug:20:34-40. doi: 10.1016/j.clnesp.2017.04.002. Epub 2017 May 8.


Specific components of dairy, such as whey proteins may have beneficial effects on body composition by suppressing appetite, although the findings of existing studies have been inconsistent. Therefore, a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials was performed to investigate effect of whey protein supplementation on long and short term appetite. A systematic search was conducted to identify eligible publications. Means and SDs for hunger, fullness, satiety, desire to eat and prospective consumption of food, before and after intervention, were extracted and then composite appetite score (CAS) calculated. To pool data, either a fixed-effects model or a random-effects model and for assessing heterogeneity, Cochran's Q and I2 tests were used. Eight publications met inclusion criteria that 5 records were on short term and 3 records on long term appetite. The meta-analysis showed a significant reduction in long term appetite by 4.13 mm in combined appetite score (CAS) (95% Confidence interval (CI): -6.57, -1.96; p = 0.001). No significant reduction in short term appetite was also seen (Mean difference (MD) = -0.39 95% CI = -2.07, 1.30; p = 0.653). Subgroup analyses by time showed that compared with carbohydrate, the reduction in appetite following consumption of whey consumption was not significant (MD = -0.39, 95% CI = -2.07, 1.3, p = 0.65, I2 = 0.0%.)A significant reduction in prospective food consumption was seen (MD = -2.17, 95% CI = -3.86, -0.48). The results of our meta-analysis showed that whey protein may reduce the long and short term appetite, but our finding did not show any significant difference in appetite reduction between whey protein and carbohydrate in short duration.

Keywords: Appetite; Body composition; Meta-analysis; Whey.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Appetite*
  • Body Composition
  • Humans
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Satiation
  • Whey Proteins / administration & dosage*


  • Whey Proteins