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Whey protein powder – still the “go to” supplement for athletes and routine exercisers — is much better absorbed and utilized when combined with specific protease enzymes, a new study has found.
The most recent double-blind, placebo controlled clinical study of the multi-enzyme compound ProHydrolase® combined with whey protein has shown improved digestion and absorption of amino acids along with reduction of the immunogenic responses associated with whey protein consumption, compared to whey protein alone. The researchers gave 20 volunteers (aged 19 to 35 with normal healthy BMI) whey protein with ProHydrolase® for nine days and whey protein by itself for nine days. At the end of the study, the researchers found that total amino acid concentrations increased significantly (by 55 mg) more after taking the whey protein and ProHydrolase supplement than after just the whey protein-only supplement. In other words – taking whey and ProHydrolase provided 20% more amino acids than whey protein by itself.
ProHydrolase, when consumed with a whey protein supplement, encourages pre-digestion of the protein, allowing for the release of the full content of the essential amino acids for building muscle and improving muscle recovery. This pre-digestion also ensures formation of smaller peptides, reducing the potential for discomfort that is often associated with protein consumption. In the digestive process, whey protein is broken down into peptides, which are themselves broken down into amino acids that become absorbed in the intestinal tract. If the whey isn’t broken down properly, it is simply excreted. Often, large peptides (comprised of more than seven amino acids) may cause digestive discomfort.
The researchers also saw that after taking the combination supplement, levels of CRP (C-reactive protein, a marker of inflammation) decreased significantly – but CRP levels remained mostly static after taking just whey protein by itself. The bioactive peptides created by the hydrolyzed protein curtailed CRP production, indicating a lower level of inflammation in the body.
Here is why this study has mass appeal: whey protein is the top-of-mind powder supplement for muscle-building. But there is an important step that allows for the body to utilize the whey. Whey protein is somewhat cumbersome for the digestive system to efficiently break down and assimilate, a process that requires specific enzymes (proteases). Typical whey proteins are bound together in a peptide complex that needs to be broken down for effective utilization. Ideally, for whey to help promote muscle growth and strength, it should be digested to at least the tetra-peptide level within 90 minutes to be used by the body. Absorption takes place in the small intestines. Larger protein fragments cannot be absorbed and become food for the micro flora in the large intestine which can contribute to unpleasant gas and bloating issues.
This research shows the impact when supplements can be effectively assimilated and thus utilized, thereby meeting label claims. This is crucial, because consumers do not feel their muscles being built and repaired, although they may feel the “afterburn” of a particularly rigorous session. Herein lies the key: it is no longer good enough to just rely upon faith that the protein consumed is going to work. With the addition of the specific protease blend, ProHydrolase, consumers can know for sure that they have a better whey.
A full write-up of the clinical study on ProHydrolase is available by request. Contact Deerland Probiotics & Enzymes for information.
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