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Exploring the Potential of Whey Protein

Young woman and man drinking protein shake after workout

In the realm of fitness and nutrition, whey protein has long been hailed as the golden standard for muscle recovery and growth. Its popularity among athletes and fitness enthusiasts is undeniable, serving as a cornerstone in the world of sports nutrition. However, in recent years, we’ve witnessed a fascinating evolution in the utilization of whey protein. No longer confined to the gym bag of bodybuilders, whey protein is making its mark in a variety of categories, showcasing its versatility and potential beyond the realm of sports nutrition.

Whey Protein 101: Understanding the Powerhouse

Before delving into its expanding horizons, let’s revisit what makes whey protein a nutritional powerhouse. Whey protein is derived from milk during the cheese-making process and is loaded with essential amino acids, making it an ideal supplement for muscle repair and growth. Its rapid digestion and absorption rate also make it a favorite among athletes for post-workout recovery.

Beyond the Gym: Whey Protein’s Diversification

While whey protein continues to dominate the sports nutrition market, its reach has extended far beyond the confines of gym culture. Here are some intriguing areas where whey protein is making waves:

1. Functional Foods and Beverages:

Whey protein is increasingly finding its way into everyday food and beverage products, capitalizing on its nutritional profile and versatility. From protein-fortified snacks like bars and cookies to protein-enhanced beverages such as smoothies and shakes, consumers are embracing whey protein as a convenient and delicious way to boost their protein intake throughout the day.

2. Medical Nutrition:

The therapeutic potential of whey protein is gaining recognition in the field of medical nutrition. Studies have shown that whey protein may have beneficial effects in various medical conditions, including muscle wasting diseases, wound healing, and malnutrition. As a result, healthcare professionals are incorporating whey protein supplements into patient care plans to support recovery and overall well-being.

3. Weight Management:

In the quest for healthy weight management, whey protein has emerged as a valuable ally. Its high protein content helps promote satiety and preserve lean muscle mass, making it an effective tool for those looking to achieve and maintain a healthy weight. As consumers become increasingly health-conscious, whey protein is becoming a staple in meal replacement shakes, smoothie bowls, and other weight management products.

4. Beauty and Personal Care:

The beauty industry is no stranger to innovation, and whey protein is now making its mark in skincare and haircare products. Recognized for its nourishing properties, whey protein is being incorporated into beauty formulations to promote skin elasticity, collagen production, and hair strength. From moisturizers to hair masks, whey protein is adding a healthy dose of nutrition to our daily beauty routines.

Embracing the Future of Whey Protein

As whey protein continues to diversify and expand into new categories, the future looks promising for this nutritional powerhouse. Its versatility, efficacy, and wide-ranging benefits make it a valuable ingredient across various industries, catering to the evolving needs and preferences of consumers worldwide. Whether you’re an athlete striving for peak performance, a health-conscious individual seeking balance, or a beauty enthusiast embracing self-care, whey protein offers something for everyone.

At Milk Specialties Global, we’re committed to pushing the boundaries of whey protein innovation and unlocking its full potential across diverse applications. From sports nutrition to medical nutrition and beyond, we’re dedicated to harnessing the power of whey protein to enhance lives and inspire healthier futures. Join us on this journey as we continue to explore the endless possibilities of whey protein, shaping a world where nutrition knows no bounds.

Harnessing the Power of Lactoferrin: Functional Nutrition Formulation

In the ever-evolving landscape of functional nutrition, formulators are constantly seeking innovative ingredients that offer unique benefits. One such ingredient that has been gaining significant attention in recent years is lactoferrin. Widely recognized for its multifaceted health benefits, lactoferrin is proving to be a valuable addition to a variety of functional nutrition applications.

So, what exactly is lactoferrin?

Lactoferrin is a multifunctional glycoprotein that is naturally present in various bodily fluids, including milk, saliva, tears, and nasal secretions. However, it is most abundant in colostrum and milk, where it serves as an essential component of the innate immune system, providing defense against microbial infections.

But lactoferrin’s role extends far beyond immunity. Emerging research has unveiled its diverse array of health-promoting properties, making it an attractive ingredient for formulators of functional nutrition products.

Here are some key reasons why lactoferrin is gaining traction in the world of functional nutrition:

  1. Immune Support: Lactoferrin is renowned for its immunomodulatory effects. It helps regulate the immune response by enhancing the activity of immune cells such as lymphocytes and macrophages, thus bolstering the body’s defense mechanisms against pathogens. Additionally, lactoferrin possesses antimicrobial properties, inhibiting the growth of bacteria, viruses, and fungi.
  2. Gut Health: The gastrointestinal tract plays a crucial role in overall health, and lactoferrin contributes to gut homeostasis in multiple ways. Peptides released during lactoferrin digestion have been reported to have prebiotic benefits, promoting the growth of beneficial gut bacteria, while inhibiting the proliferation of harmful pathogens, thereby helping maintain a healthy microbial balance.
  3. Antioxidant Activity: Oxidative stress is implicated in various chronic diseases and aging processes. Lactoferrin acts as a potent antioxidant, scavenging free radicals and mitigating oxidative damage to cells and tissues. By neutralizing reactive oxygen species, lactoferrin can help protect against oxidative stress-related ailments, including cardiovascular diseases and neurodegenerative disorders.
  4. Anti-inflammatory Properties: Chronic inflammation is a hallmark of many health conditions, ranging from autoimmune disorders to metabolic syndrome. Lactoferrin exerts anti-inflammatory effects by modulating cytokine production and inhibiting inflammatory pathways. Its ability to dampen excessive inflammation can contribute to the management of inflammatory conditions and promotes overall well-being.

As the body of scientific evidence supporting the health benefits of lactoferrin continues to grow, so does its utilization in functional nutrition formulations. Whether incorporated into dietary supplements, functional foods, or medical nutrition products, lactoferrin offers formulators a versatile ingredient with a broad spectrum of therapeutic effects.

Moreover, advancements in extraction and purification techniques have made it easier to obtain highly concentrated and bioavailable lactoferrin supplements, further enhancing its utility in functional nutrition applications.

In conclusion, lactoferrin represents a promising ingredient for formulators seeking to develop functional nutrition products that promote immune health, gut integrity, antioxidant defense, and overall well-being. With its multifaceted properties and expanding research base, lactoferrin is poised to remain a cornerstone of the functional nutrition industry, offering consumers effective solutions for optimizing their health and vitality.

A Great Whey to Enhance Health for Women 

With March being Women’s History Month and March 8th International Women’s Day, it’s a pertinent time to look at how one of our hero ingredients, whey protein, can support heath in women. When looking at certain areas of nutrition research, it’s been regularly reported that women are significantly less represented in studies than men. In 2021, an analysis of 6 top sport and exercise science journals found that out of over 5200 publications, only 6% included females only, compared to 31% for males and 63% for both male and female. However, this is starting to change, and more investments are being made in nutrition research focused on women. Here, we highlight some studies that demonstrate how whey protein can support several health benefits in women.  

Women show greater muscle building response to 25g whey protein than men.  

Muscle mass maintenance is mainly controlled by the increase in muscle protein synthesis following nutrient intake. While this has been extensively studied in men, it has been unclear if there is a difference in this response between women and men. This was tackled in a study which recruited 12 healthy men middle-aged men and 12 healthy middle-aged women to looked at their response to ingestion of 25g whey protein. Using isotopic tracers, muscle biopsies and blood markers, researchers assessed dietary protein digestion and amino acid absorption kinetics, as well as muscle protein synthesis rates both at rest and after feeding. Plasma amino acid levels rapidly increased after protein ingestion, with no differences between middle-aged women and men, and also no difference between men and women in the absorption level of the protein. Interestingly, women showed a higher muscle protein synthesis rate both in the initial two hours and full 5 hour-period after consuming the whey shake compared to men.  

Horstman et al. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2019 Apr 1;104(4):994-1004.  

Whey protein supplement increases satiety hormone levels and decreases central fat more than collagen supplement in women. 

Protein supplements are usually used to control body weight, however, the impact of protein quality on body fat reduction is unknown. A study investigating the effects of supplementation of either whey protein (WG) or hydrolysed collagen supplementation (CG) on dietary intake, adiposity and biochemical markers in overweight women set out to shed some light on this topic. In this randomized double-blind study, 37 women with a mean BMI >30 consumed sachets containing 40 g/day of concentrated whey protein (25 g total protein, 2.4 leucine, 1.0 valine, 1.5 isoleucine, n = 17) or 38 g/day of hydrolysed collagen (26 g total protein, 1.02 leucine, 0.91 valine, 0.53 isoleucine, n = 20) as an afternoon snack. Their dietary intake was then evaluated by a 6-day food record questionnaire. At the beginning and after eight weeks of follow-up, body composition and a number of blood markers were assessed, including metabolic markers and satiety hormones. Supplements provided the same amount of protein and calories. Intake of calories, protein, carbohydrate and fats were the same in both groups; however, intake of branched chain amino acids and leucine were significantly higher in the whey group compared to the collagen group. BMI increased in the collagen group, but not in the whey group. The whey group also found a decrease in android (central) fat and increase in nesfatain concentrations compared to the collagen group. Nestafin is a neuropeptide produced by the body that reduces appetite. Whey protein supplementation in overweight women increased nesfatin concentrations and could promote increase of resting metabolic rate as part of body composition improvement programs compared to collagen supplementation for 8 weeks. Additionally, our findings suggest that collagen may not be an effective supplement for overweight women who are attempting to alter body composition. 

Giglio et al. Nutrients. 2019 Sep 2;11(9):2051 

α-lactalbumin-rich whey protein improves sleep and recovery in female athletes. 

​​Strenuous exercise, particularly in the evening, can negatively impact sleep quality which can affect subsequent exercise performance. Researchers in Australia investigated whether supplementing with 40g alpha-lactalbumin (95% purity) vs standard WPI vs placebo after an evening exercise session impacted sleep quality in trained female athletes. They also looked at whether there was an effect on physical and cognitive performance the following day. They found that alpha-lac led to improvements in sleep characteristics compared to the WPI and placebo and prevented reductions in physical performance the following day. Furthermore, alpha-lac ​reduced ratings of mental effort and mental demand during cognitive tasks compared to whey protein isolate placebo and water.  

Miles et al. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2021 Dec 1;53(12):2618-2627.  

Whey protein improves blood glucose control and alleviates stress in gestational diabetes.  

Gestational diabetes is a condition in which women develop diabetes (high blood sugar) during pregnancy and affects up to 10% of pregnancies in the US. If unmanaged, it can increase the risk of high birth weight, early labor and type 2 diabetes in later life. Whey protein has previously been shown in adults to lower the glycaemic response to a meal, when consumed prior to the meal (“pre-load”), and this was recently investigated in women with gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM). Sixty women with gestational diabetes mellitus were recruited to a study in which half received a preload drink containing 20 g whey protein (GDM-W), and the other half received a control flavored drink (GDM), prior to a meal. The trial lasted for 14 days. Changes in stress hormones, oxidative stress and insulin resistance (IR) were measured. In the GDM-W group, postprandial blood glucose significantly decreased across various time points over the 14days, with an increase in plasma 2 h insulin, and significant decrease in insulin resistance on day 14. Markers of oxidative stress significantly decreased on day 14, along with a reduction in stress hormones and cortisol. This study demonstrated whey protein supplementation could be a useful strategy to improve hyperglycemia by alleviating stress disorder and oxidative stress injury in GDM women.  

Feng et al. Gynecol Endocrinol. 2021 Aug;37(8):753-757.  

Unveiling Consumer Flavor Trends in Sports Nutrition

In the dynamic landscape of sports nutrition, staying attuned to real-time consumer flavor trends is paramount for maintaining a competitive edge and driving product innovation. As pioneers in the field, it is imperative to leverage market insights and statistical data to decipher evolving consumer preferences and anticipate flavor trends that resonate. Let us delve into the latest statistics shaping the realm of sports nutrition flavors, offering valuable insights to inform your research and development endeavors.

Emerging Flavor Profiles

According to recent market research data, there has been a notable surge in demand for innovative and unconventional flavor profiles within the sports nutrition sector. Statistics reveal a significant uptick in consumer interest towards exotic fruit flavors such as dragonfruit, lychee, and passionfruit, reflecting a growing appetite for adventurous taste experiences among fitness enthusiasts. Furthermore, data indicates a rising preference for indulgent dessert-inspired flavors, with statistics showcasing a surge in demand for decadent options like salted caramel, cookies and cream, and peanut butter chocolate. By capitalizing on these emerging flavor trends, sports nutrition companies can captivate consumer interest and foster brand loyalty through product offerings that cater to evolving taste preferences.

Functional Ingredients: Flavor Fusion for Performance Enhancement

In addition to flavor innovation, the integration of functional ingredients into sports nutrition formulations presents an opportunity to enhance both flavor profiles and performance benefits. Statistics reveal a growing consumer interest in products infused with adaptogenic herbs and botanical extracts, with data indicating a notable increase in demand for flavors complemented by ingredients such as ashwagandha, rhodiola, and ginseng. Moreover, statistical insights underscore a rising demand for refreshing and invigorating flavor combinations infused with electrolytes and hydration-enhancing ingredients, catering to the needs of active individuals seeking optimal performance and recovery support. By aligning flavor innovation with the functional benefits of key ingredients, research and development teams can create synergistic formulations that elevate the sports nutrition experience and meet the diverse needs of consumers striving for peak performance.

Personalization and Customization: Navigating Flavor Diversity

As consumer preferences diversify and evolve, the demand for personalized and customizable flavor options within the sports nutrition space continues to gain momentum. Statistical data highlights a growing interest in modular flavor systems that empower consumers to tailor their nutritional supplements according to individual taste preferences and dietary requirements. Furthermore, insights reveal a burgeoning demand for clean label flavor solutions, with statistics indicating a preference for natural and organic flavorings derived from botanical sources such as vanilla, cinnamon, and citrus. By leveraging statistical insights to develop customizable flavor platforms and clean label solutions, research and development teams can empower consumers to personalize their sports nutrition experience while upholding transparency and integrity in product formulations.

In conclusion, real-time consumer flavor trends serve as invaluable guideposts for research and development efforts within the sports nutrition industry, offering a window into evolving taste preferences and market dynamics. By leveraging statistical data to inform flavor innovation, integrate functional ingredients, and embrace customization, research and development workers can spearhead the creation of innovative products that resonate with fitness enthusiasts worldwide, driving growth and differentiation in a competitive marketplace.

Harnessing the Potential of Dairy Proteins: Exploring Functional Applications

Young woman and man drinking protein shake after workout

In the realm of functional foods, dairy proteins hold immense potential. Unlock the opportunities by harnessing the unique functional properties of ingredients like Lactoferrin, Milk Fat Globule Membrane (MFGM), and alpha-lactalbumin. These remarkable components not only enrich the nutritional profile of products but also offer a plethora of functional benefits that cater to the diverse needs and preferences of consumers worldwide.

Diverse Applications for Enhanced Wellness

The versatility of dairy proteins opens up a world of possibilities. Lactoferrin, with its powerful antimicrobial and immune-enhancing properties, holds immense potential for applications in products targeting immune support and gut health. Similarly, MFGM, rich in bioactive lipids and proteins, has garnered attention for its role in cognitive development and mental well-being, making it a coveted ingredient in functional foods aimed at promoting brain health across all life stages. Meanwhile, alpha-lactalbumin, renowned for its high nutritional value and bioavailability, emerges as a frontrunner in formulations targeting muscle recovery, weight management, and sports nutrition. By leveraging these ingredients, dairy protein companies can create a diverse portfolio of functional foods that address a wide spectrum of health concerns, from bolstering immunity to optimizing cognitive function, and beyond.

Innovative Formulations for Consumer Delight

The duality of science and innovation unlocks endless possibilities for crafting functional foods that not only nourish the body but align with consumer tastes and preferences. Whether it’s formulating a RTM fortified with Lactoferrin for post-workout recovery or developing a decadent snack bar enriched with MFGM for cognitive support, the potential for creative product development is limitless. By combining the functional benefits of dairy proteins with innovative formulations and flavor profiles, companies can captivate consumers and carve out a niche in an increasingly competitive market landscape. Moreover, the integration of these ingredients into everyday staples such as yogurt, milk, and cheese presents an opportunity to enhance the nutritional value of traditional dairy products while meeting the evolving demands of health-conscious consumers.

Relaxed young sportswoman doing yoga and meditating in studio.

Pairing Lactoferrin, Milk Fat Globule membrane (MFGM), and alpha-lactalbumin with complementary functional ingredients amplifies their individual efficacy, unlocking synergistic health benefits and enhancing consumer appeal. Let’s explore potential pairings for each:


  • Probiotics: Combining Lactoferrin with probiotics enhances gut health by promoting a balanced microbiome and reinforcing immune function.
  • Prebiotic Fibers: Pairing Lactoferrin with prebiotic fibers such as inulin or chicory root fiber nourishes beneficial gut bacteria, fostering gut health and overall well-being.
  • Vitamin C: The synergistic interaction between Lactoferrin and vitamin C strengthens immune function, offering robust defense against pathogens and oxidative stress.

Milk Fat Globule membrane (MFGM):

  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Incorporating MFGM with omega-3 fatty acids, sourced from fish oil or algae, supports cognitive health and brain function, offering comprehensive cognitive support.
  • Choline: Pairing MFGM with choline-rich sources such as lecithin enhances neuronal signaling and neurotransmitter synthesis, promoting cognitive clarity and mental acuity.
  • Antioxidants: Combining MFGM with antioxidants like vitamin E or polyphenols fortifies cellular defense mechanisms, shielding brain cells from oxidative damage and preserving cognitive function.


  • Branched-chain Amino Acids (BCAAs): Pairing alpha-lactalbumin with BCAAs, such as leucine, isoleucine, and valine, promotes muscle protein synthesis, enhances muscle recovery, and supports athletic performance.
  • Digestive Enzymes: Combining alpha-lactalbumin with digestive enzymes like proteases and lipases improves protein absorption and utilization, optimizing nutrient delivery to muscles and tissues.
  • Magnesium: Pairing alpha-lactalbumin with magnesium enhances muscle relaxation and recovery, mitigates exercise-induced muscle cramps, and supports overall muscle function and performance.

By strategically pairing Lactoferrin, MFGM, and alpha-lactalbumin with complementary functional ingredients, dairy protein companies can develop innovative formulations that offer holistic health benefits, catering to diverse consumer needs and preferences.

Formulating With Clear Whey Protein

Protein products have dominated store shelves for several years now – everything from protein bars to shakes, chips to baking mixes. Protein, specifically proteins from milk, have been shown to reduce risk factors for cardiovascular disease1 and improve overall satiety2. They’re also great for muscle recovery, on-the-go nutrition, and create functional benefits for a multitude of food categories. So, what is driving innovation in this market? Clear proteins. These proteins are capable of fortifying new categories of functional foods. They can be utilized at a range of concentrations, processes, and provide a clean and fresh flavor. In this blog, we’ll explore the benefits of clear whey proteins, how to use them, important formulation and processing considerations, and highlight PRObev™, our award-winning protein that is a leader in the clear protein category.


While protein is an ever-growing market sector, as mentioned before, low pH (defined as pH less than five) protein is driving that growth. Whey proteins continue to be at the top of athletes’ lists when it comes to muscle recovery and protein completeness. However, finding novel uses of whey has become increasingly important to avoid consumption fatigue.

When it comes to clear proteins, whey is the obvious choice. At a pH of less than 4.6, whey protein is very soluble and has excellent clarity. As a bonus, the acidic environment these products have create safe foods when mild heat treatments are applied.

This category also allows for more novel applications and flavors which contributes to its lower consumption fatigue. The adjustable protein amounts similarly helps target different market sectors from sports nutrition to functional foods. Clear proteins support in-market trends such as protein waters for those seeking hydration, and they support the shift from protein consumption by mostly sports nutrition consumers to consumers seeking functional health. These proteins also lend themselves to emerging trends such as immunity, detox, beauty from within, and healthy aging.


Clear proteins are achieved through the acidification and purification of whey protein at a pH of less than 3.2. Clear protein allows a high concentration of protein in a beverage while keeping viscosity low. These ingredients provide a clean and slightly acidic flavor profile that creates a unique opportunity to utilize fresh and fun flavors.

There are several advantages to using clear proteins such as heat stability, application clarity, and a clean flavor. We’ll dive deeper into these advantages and the considerations one must take when formulating with these proteins.


One of the most important aspect of clear proteins is their overall clarity in the final application. This can be affected by several factors. The most important amongst them are heat, pH, protein concentration, additives, and processing.

Heat and pH are closely associated when it comes to protein clarity. In some instances (pH < 3.2) heat does very little to the turbidity of the protein solutions. However, above a certain pH, the clarity of the solution is drastically reduced after heating (creating an opaque solution) as shown in Figure 1.

Another consideration in protein solution clarity is protein concentration. As the protein concentration increases, the solution becomes more turbid. While solutions of greater than 20% protein are possible, concentrations of less than that are recommended for stable products over a long shelf life.

Additives that are used in tangent with a clear protein can have a large impact on final application clarity. Vitamins and minerals, flavors, preservatives, stabilizers, sweeteners, fats and oils, and acidulants are all additives that can impart negative effects on clarity. It’s important to test your formulation in its final form and processing to ensure there are no unwanted changes to clarity.

Processing is the last major factor when it comes to protein clarity. Due to the high-acidity, clear proteins need only minimal processing to produce safe and stable products. Below we’ll explore heat stability as an advantage to clear whey proteins and how different processing conditions vary.


There are numerous types of heating processes a product can go through to make a microbiologically safe product. However, at a higher temperature (>165°F), whey proteins denature and cause sedimentation, gelation and increased viscosity due to changes in protein structure and the aggregation/polymerization with other proteins. This change also depends on the thermal load (temp x time) and concentration of whey protein in the solution. Generally, if whey protein solution is subjected to high heat load, it will result in instant gelling of solution. Milk proteins are inherently more heat stable due to the casein structure3. Therefore, milk proteins are more suitable for high protein drinks in UHT applications. Interestingly, Milk Specialties’ whey proteins can withstand higher heat load at specific concentrations with unique formulations.


As with all consumer products, flavor is the driver. Traditional protein beverages come in ‘milky’ flavors or coffeehouse flavors such as vanilla, chocolate, strawberry and café latte. Clear proteins are unique from others on the market in that they have higher acidity. The high-acid environment means clear proteins are a good base for fruity and diverse flavors like citrus and mixed berry, or novel flavors like elderflower and hibiscus. Particularly popular right now are mocktails – nonalcoholic mojitos, mules and Manhattans.


The increasing demand for dairy protein has driven companies to explore new and novel ways to include protein in a variety eating occasions. Clear proteins are an excellent way to innovate beyond the standard milky flavors and neutral pH options. With great heat stability, optimal clarity and clean flavor, clear proteins are the clear choice for your next product innovation.


Milk Specialties has developed an award-winning protein, PRObev™, that is an acidified clear whey protein isolate produced via a proprietary filtration process that isolates whey proteins in a highly concentrated form to provide maximum functionality. With greater than 84.6% protein on an as-is basis and less than 3.0% fat, this protein can fortify a multitude of applications and provide exceptional clarity and a clean taste profile. PRObev™ has been found by the University of North Carolina to have an exceptionally clean flavor profile and was significantly less sour and astringent than the competitor’s product. With a suggested labeling of PRObev™ (Whey Protein Isolate) this clean label protein is ideal for high acid application work.


Davoodi SH, Shahbazi R, Esmaeili S, et al. Health-Related Aspects of Milk Proteins. Iran J Pharm Res. 2016;15(3):573-591.

Bendtsen LQ, Lorenzen JK, Bendsen NT, Rasmussen C, Astrup A. Effect of dairy proteins on appetite, energy expenditure, body weight, and composition: a review of the evidence from controlled clinical trials. Adv Nutr. 2013;4(4):418-438. Published 2013 Jul 1. doi:10.3945/an.113.003723

Patel, H. and Patel, S., Technical Report: Understanding the role of dairy proteins in ingredient and product performance. 2015. U.S. Dairy Export Council.

Protein: Back to Basics

How important is dietary protein?

Protein has been a mainstay in the diet of bodybuilders, sport and fitness fanatics for years, but the last couple of decades have seen huge growth in appreciation of this key macronutrient in the diet of all ages, stages, needs and health goals. Often referred to as the “mainstreaming of the sports nutrition market”, high protein products appear to be everywhere and consumers can meet their protein needs in a variety of ways; from Greek yogurt and ultra-filtered milk to protein cookies and bread, to protein shakes, sparkling protein water, and bars. But what are the benefits of higher protein diets, to which demographic, and does it matter where it comes from?

Benefits of Protein

Everyone needs protein in their diet for basic physiological functioning. About 16% of a lean adult’s body mass is protein, while skeletal muscle tissue in general is closer to 90%. Although it has a critical structural role in the body through muscle and connective tissue, such as ligaments and tendons, it also plays a huge functional role in components such as antibodies for immune responses, transporters, hormones, enzymes and many more. When it comes to muscle mass and staying active, evidence shows that optimizing protein intake can help to maintain muscle mass, manage weight by enhancing satiety, improve longevity, enhance recovery from injury, illness, and bedrest, improve endurance performance, and even support a good night’s sleep (with certain types of protein).

How much is recommended and when?

The recommended daily allowance (RDA), set at 0.8g/kg body weight, is the level required to avoid deficiencies and for basic functioning. However, general scientific opinion and evidence demonstrates that optimal intakes are greater than this and are linked to age, activity level and health goal. As highlighted in table 1, intakes between 1.1 and 2.2g/kg body weight can help support physical demands on the body and optimize body composition and health outcomes.

Table 1. Protein Intake Recommendations (iPG, 2018

The western diet tends to have protein intake skewed to the evening but spreading protein intake throughout the day can mean taking advantage of protein’s ability to help maintain muscle mass and may even enhance satiety throughout the day. Aim for at least 20-30g at each meal and even at snacks, to reach your daily optimal intake.

Does the type of protein matter?

Protein can be found in many foods and our daily protein intake comes from a variety of sources. The scientific evidence around the benefits that different protein sources can provide continues to improve and it is the topic of much debate, particularly with new, more sophisticated techniques to measure protein quality, and the increased marketing and availability of plant proteins. The newest protein quality assessment method, DIAAS (digestible indispensable amino acids score), gives us the most accurate insight into how well a protein is absorbed by the gut, and thus the extent to which it can satisfy human physiological needs. As shown in table 2, animal source proteins, such as whey protein and milk protein, have a significantly higher protein quality compared to plant source proteins, such as soy, pea and whole-grain wheat. Utilizing higher quality proteins can be particularly beneficial at certain times or for certain groups, such as recovery from exercise, enhanced satiety for weight management or weight loss, aging population who require a higher leucine intake (whey protein is the highest dietary source of this key amino acid), or intense metabolic demands like post-operative recovery and bedrest.

Where can you get protein from?

The table below provides some good examples of dietary protein sources, including the amount of essential amino acids (EAAs) and the all-important branched-chain amino acid, leucine.


International Protein Board (2018). Protein Matters: The Need to Re-evaluate the Adequacy and Application of Protein Requirements.

USDEC (2018). A New Era for Protein: Why U.S. Dairy Delivers in the Crowded Protein Marketplace

BASES (2022). The BASES Expert Statement on protein recommendations for athletes: amount, type and timing.

Lactoferrin and It’s Oral Health Benefits

Lactoferrin is a natural, iron-binding glycoprotein naturally found in the human body, and the bodies of other mammals. It is naturally found in saliva, tears and milk. Due to advances in technology, lactoferrin can be concentrated from bovine milk making it possible to use as an ingredient in health and wellness products.  

In addition to being renowned for its ability to naturally support the body’s immune system, lactoferrin is now being more widely used in a variety of applications from one-a-day supplements to skin and beauty products. Since lactoferrin is naturally found in our saliva it has been studied in oral health applications

Lactoferrin and Gum Health 

A group of Italian researchers looked at using lactoferrin as a treatment for periodontis. While they researchers noted in their 2011 study that more research is needed, the study found that lactoferrin’s antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties offer strong potential as a treatment. The researchers concluded, “…these results provide strong evidence for a role of bLf (bovine lactoferrin) in curing periodontitis, thus extending the therapeutic potential of this multifunctional natural protein.” 

Oral Inflammation  

Inflammation of the gums and mouth can be painful and a sign of large problems. Lactoferrin possesses all natural anti-inflammatory abilities, positioning it as an ideal inclusion in oral health products. Some research indicates daily supplementation of as little as 200mg of lactoferrin can provide a therapeutic effect. Lactoferrin works by binding itself to iron in the body which inhibits microbial growth, leading to less inflammation.  

Lactoferrin and Oral Wound Healing  

As a natural bioactive glycoprotein found in milk, lactoferrin has been shown to help with challenges associated with wound healing such as microbes and inflammation. In oral health application, lactoferrin can be used to help fortify the body’s natural immune defenses because it binds to the iron that microbe require to proliferate.  

While oral health experts can best recommend treatments, lactoferrin is a low inclusion bioactive ingredient that can provide functional benefits to oral health products.  

Lactoferrin For Skin and Beauty

Lactoferrin is a useful ingredient in skin and beauty products. It is a glycoprotein that is naturally produced by humans and other mammals. Research around lactoferrin suggests it possesses multi-functional health benefits including antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and other properties. While research is ongoing, several academic studies from the past two decades indicate lactoferrin could be a beneficial treatment for skin infections and inflammation. Lactoferrin can help provide functional health benefits to existing products, or be the foundation for new skin and cosmetic products that aim to offer more functional benefits to the consumer.  

Lactoferrin Is Antimicrobial 

Lactoferrin can bind to iron, which inhibits the growth of pathogens. The function of this transferrin family protein and its peptides has been widely researched as a treatment for everything from Covid-19 to the common cold to fungal infections. These antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal properties, combine with a low inclusion rate for products, makes lactoferrin a powerful ingredient in skincare, beauty products, and oral health products.  

Lactoferrin is Anti-Inflammatory  

Inflammation can cause an array of skin conditions in otherwise healthy adults. Lactoferrin has been shown to be an all-natural immune modulator, which can help your body’s natural immune system work more effectively. This glycoprotein’s ability to work naturally with the body’s immune system, help provide an ally in combatting skin inflammation.   

Lactoferrin and Wound Healing and Skin Health 

 With lactoferrin’s ability to fight inflammation and infections, it is no surprise that it can be used as an aid to assist your body with the healing process. From acne to cuts, lactoferrin has the potential to be a powerful weapon for keeping skin healthy by helping provide an all natural boost to your body’s defense system.  

It opens the door to a new era of skincare and cosmetic solutions that prioritize not only aesthetic appeal but also functional health benefits for consumers.

Why Lactoferrin?

In conclusion, the exploration of lactoferrin for skin and beauty products reveals to be promising in the field of skincare and cosmetics. As a naturally occurring glycoprotein with antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and wound-healing properties, lactoferrin has garnered attention for its potential to enhance existing products or serve as the foundation for new and innovative formulations. As the scientific evidence supporting lactoferrin’s benefits accumulates, it opens the door to a new era of skincare and cosmetic solutions that prioritize not only aesthetic appeal but also functional health benefits for consumers. Want to learn more? We can help.

Nutrition Challenges For Aging: The Impact of Protein on Satiety and Energy Intake

Road running, fitness and senior couple training together on a exercise and workout run. Sports and health motivation of elderly man and woman runner in retirement living a healthy lifestyle.

The process of aging causes multiple physiological, psychological and social changes that affect food choice and consumption. Advancing age alters food reward signals, reduces food craving behavior, and suppresses appetite and energy intake, all of which contribute to a condition termed the “anorexia of ageing”. Compared with younger adults, older adults are reported to consume approximately 30% less energy per day. Dietary diversity (the number of different foods or food groups consumed over a given reference period) is also attenuated with ageing, with lower consumption of protein reported in older populations. Inadequate regulation of food and protein intake increases the risk of developing conditions such as sarcopenia and osteoporosis. Therefore, protein-energy homeostasis is considered a fundamental dietary-related determinant of healthy aging.

Dietary protein requirements increase with age, attributed partly to an increase in anabolic resistance to muscle protein synthesis (MPS), which accelerates loss of skeletal muscle mass and function. Maintaining muscle mass is essential to protect against falls, which are a leading cause of injury-related mortality in older people and a consequence of anorexia of ageing.

Despite the highly satiating effects of protein, interestingly, evidence suggests that older adults exhibit a blunted satiety response to protein consumption compared with younger adults. In fact, whey protein drinks have been shown to increase short-term total daily energy and protein intake in older people, even when the protein content of the drinks is very high. Another promising strategy for promoting energy and protein consumption in later life is the fortification of foods with protein. Increasing food volume to meet energy requirements is often unachievable in older groups, therefore, increasing energy and protein density while not affecting or reducing portion size, would be beneficial. As it is frequently reported that older adults consume inadequate amounts of protein, supplementing a healthy diet with additional high-quality protein may sufficiently stimulate MPS, without adversely affecting habitual appetite and food intake. However, further studies investigating compliance with long-term protein supplementation and the effects on satiety and energy intake are warranted.    

With the global population ageing (current UN projections expect 1.5 billion people over the age of 65 by 2050), innovative strategies to support protein-energy homeostasis are essential. Adopting a co-production approach involving academia, industry, practitioners and members of the public may stimulate the design of effective nutritional interventions, which consider age-related changes in physiology, cognition and lifestyle that affect appetite and dietary needs and preferences.

Further references and reading:

Bauer, J., Biolo, G., Cederholm, T., Cesari, M., Cruz-Jentoft, A.J., Morley, J.E., Phillips, S., Sieber, C., Stehle, P., Teta, D. and Visvanathan, R., 2013. Evidence-based recommendations for optimal dietary protein intake in older people: a position paper from the PROT-AGE Study Group. Journal of the American Medical Directors association14(8), pp.542-559.

Dent, E., Hoogendijk, E.O. and Wright, O.R., 2019. New insights into the anorexia of ageing: from prevention to treatment. Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition & Metabolic Care22(1), pp.44-51. 

Lonnie, M., Hooker, E., Brunstrom, J.M., Corfe, B.M., Green, M.A., Watson, A.W., Williams, E.A., Stevenson, E.J., Penson, S. and Johnstone, A.M., 2018. Protein for life: Review of optimal protein intake, sustainable dietary sources and the effect on appetite in ageing adults. Nutrients10(3), p.360.

Morley, J.E., 1997. Anorexia of aging: physiologic and pathologic. The American journal of clinical nutrition66(4), pp.760-773.

Nishimura, Y., Højfeldt, G., Breen, L., Tetens, I. and Holm, L., 2021. Dietary protein requirements and recommendations for healthy older adults–A critical narrative review of the scientific evidence. Nutrition research reviews, pp.1-48.