Enhancing Weight Management with Whey Protein and Alpha-lactalbumin

Posted by Lindsey Ormond, Director of Research & Development on Dec 20, 2022 3:46:04 PM



New year health kicks will soon be in full swing, with many wanting to be more active, eat better, and lose weight. Of course, lifestyle changes that engrain healthier choices into the daily ritual are key to long term health, weight management, enhanced energy, and longevity. Maintaining a healthy weight goes together with optimizing body composition, both of which require regular exercise (including strength training) and optimal nutrient intake.

Protein is one such nutrient known and recognized for its role in helping to optimize body composition. As the most satiating nutrient, protein has a key role to play in weight management. However, as we know, not all proteins are created equal and different types of protein may influence hunger, weight management and body composition differently.


Not all proteins are created equal

Whey protein has been shown to decrease hunger more than both soy and casein when fed at breakfast time, with a greater impact on GLP-1 and insulin1. Furthermore, when comparing the thermic effect of food, whey protein was found to lead to greater energy expenditure compared to casein, soy, or carbohydrate2. This was echoed in a long-term intervention study where daily supplementation with whey protein led to significantly lower body mass, fat mass, and waist circumference vs soy protein. But can these whey protein benefits be enhanced?


Alpha-lactalbumin is one of the main whey protein fractions found in milk and, through filtration, can be enriched to levels double or triple that in conventional whey protein ingredients. A key benefit, amongst others, is a higher level of tryptophan. This essential amino acid is key for serotonin synthesis, a neurotransmitter that plays a role in satiety.

This unique protein has shown that, when consumed as the key protein source at breakfast, it can reduce the ad libitum energy intake at lunch compared to casein, soy, and standard whey protein3.

Alpha-lac has been demonstrated to reduce energy intake a enhance satiety in humans fed a breakfast with alpha-lac as the main protein source4. Furthermore, this study compared to both gelatin, and gelatin plus tryptophan, suggesting that alpha-lac’s benefits extended beyond its tryptophan content.