Whey-based cheese provides more postprandial plasma leucine than casein-based cheese: A pig study

Food Chem. 2019 Mar 30;277:63-69. doi: 10.1016/j.foodchem.2018.10.097. Epub 2018 Oct 22.


With a long-term nutrition goal for healthy aging, the aim of this study was to compare the bioavailability of amino acids, in particular the leucine, after the ingestion of two solid and isocaloric dairy products (cheese) based either on whey or on caseins, by using pig as an in vivo digestion model. The whey-based cheese contained 25% more leucine than Mozzarella, however its digestion by pigs resulted in a concentration of postprandial plasma leucine between 2 h and 5 h30 twice higher than that produced during the digestion of Mozzarella. Noting that the dry matter of the duodenal effluents were similar after each of the two cheese meals, differences in gastric emptying would not explain the difference in leucine bioavailability. These results suggest the possibility of stimulating more efficiently the muscle synthesis in elderly people with cheese based on whey proteins rather than those based on caseins.

Keywords: Amino acids; Bioavailability; Caseins; Cheese; Digestion; Leucine; Pig model; Whey proteins.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acids / blood
  • Animals
  • Caseins / chemistry*
  • Cheese / analysis*
  • Chromatography, Ion Exchange
  • Diet / veterinary
  • Duodenum / metabolism
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Insulin / blood
  • Leucine / blood*
  • Postprandial Period
  • Swine
  • Whey / chemistry*


  • Amino Acids
  • Caseins
  • Insulin
  • Leucine