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Whey Protein, Amino Acids May Boost Fat Loss

Adding Whey, Amino Acids: Study Details continued...

Could the same strategy help younger adults? "I think the answer potentially is yes," Coker says. His study looked only at those 65-plus, and they were obese. But other research has indicated the approach could help younger people, he says.

Losing excess body fat is an important goal, Coker says. Among other effects, it promotes inflammation and insulin resistance, making the body less apt to use insulin effectively.

The product studied by Coker is not available to the public.

The study was supported by an NIH Small Business Innovation Research grant and other grants. The small business grant was administered through HealthSpan, which makes a whey protein product. Coker and other co-authors were compensated by HealthSpan as consultants for the grant.

Whey Protein for Fat Loss: Perspective

The new study echoes some of the findings of a previous study by Joy Frestedt, president and CEO of Frestedt Inc., a consulting firm for clinical trials and other research.

In her own study, she found that whey protein supplements helped adults lose more weight and more body fat than those not on the supplements.

She reviewed the new research for WebMD. The new study has limitations, she says. It was only eight weeks and there were just 11 finishers.

Even so, they went beyond her research in one way. "They actually biopsied the muscle," she says, to gauge the effect of the two approaches.

The product studied by Coker's group is not yet available, he says, but many whey protein supplements are sold over the counter.

To date, research suggests that whey protein may increase fat loss while helping to maintain muscle mass typically lost as pounds are shed, Frestedt says.

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