New research presented this week at the American Dietetic Association Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo suggests that dairy proteins, especially whey, excel in building muscle and reducing fat, which may help control body weight and curb obesity, hypertension and diabetes.

In his presentation, Stuart Phillips, associate professor of kinesiology at McMasterUniversity in Hamilton, Ontario, elaborated on recently published findings regarding protein consumption and body composition. "Our research demonstrated that milk proteins are more effective than soy in building muscle and reducing fat, when consumed after regular resistance exercise," said Phillips. "In additional research, whey-protein consumption appears to have a similar effect even in the absence of exercise or diet."

G. Harvey Anderson, professor of nutrition sciences, physiology and medical sciences at the University of Toronto, was co-presenter at the scientific session. "Whey protein has tremendous potential as a functional-food component for maintaining a healthy weight," said Anderson. "Research shows that whey helps the body feel full and satisfied; therefore, it may assist in body weight management, obesity and related conditions, including high blood pressure, diabetes and more."

While the mechanisms of action are not fully understood, whey protein has a positive effect on insulin and cholesterol levels in the blood, as well as a positive and prolonged effect on satiation and satiety. In the presentation, Anderson called for additional research to whey's potential benefit as a functional-food component, assisting in the management of obesity and related conditions.

FNCE is the world's largest gathering of food and nutrition experts, with approximately 10,000 scientific researchers, dietetics professionals, policy makers, health-care providers and industry leaders in attendance.

Dairy Council of California via PRNewswire