Whey protein is mostly used in products for elderly muscle maintenance
A randomised double-blind clinical trial in healthy elderly men, published in the Journal of Nutrition, has proven that, at a leucine-matched dose, Meripro hydrolysed wheat protein was able to stimulate postprandial muscle protein synthesis rates than whey protein.
Tereos, a leading global producer of wheat proteins, conducted this study in partnership with the University of Maastricht.
Skeletal muscle preservation is key to maintaining the functional capacity and independence of the elderly.
Muscle mass maintenance is largely regulated by basal muscle synthesis rates and their stimulation after food intake.
Relatively little data exists about evaluating the effect of plant proteins on muscle protein synthesis following their ingestion, despite that as much as 60% of our daily protein intake is provided by plant-based protein sources, wheat protein being the most abundant in our diet.
Meripro hydrolysed wheat protein is a purified, highly concentrated protein source. Its digestibility is similar to animal-derived proteins (>90%).
Tereos hypothesised that providing a wheat protein hydrolysate containing the same amount of leucine as whey protein could allow a similar or greater postprandial muscle protein synthetic response in the elderly.
Indeed, wheat protein has a relatively low leucine content compared with animal-derived proteins. However, leucine is thought to play an important role in postprandial muscle protein synthesis.
Based on these new results, Tereos considers that, in the context of a balanced diet, Meripro is a good protein source with the ability to stimulate muscle protein synthesis in the elderly.
For example, protein blends combining Meripro and dairy proteins could be applied to support muscle mass gains and prevent muscle mass loss. Furthermore, these protein blends are much more economic for both the industry and the consumer, and more sustainable for the environment.