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Lowering effect of dietary milk-whey protein v. casein on plasma and liver cholesterol concentrations in rats

  • Xizhong Zhang (a1) (a2) and Anton C. Beynen (a2) (a3)
Abstract

The effect of dietary whey protein v. casein on plasma and liver cholesterol concentrations was investigated in female, weanling rats. Balanced, purified diets containing either whey protein or casein, or the amino acid mixtures simulating these proteins, were used. The high-cholesterol diets (10 g cholesterol/kg feed) had either 150 or 300 g protein or amino acids/kg feed. The diets were fed for 3 weeks. At the low dietary protein level, whey protein v. casein did not affect plasma total cholesterol, but lowered the concentration of liver cholesterol. At the high dietary protein level, whey protein significantly lowered plasma and liver cholesterol and also plasma triacylglycerols. The hypocholesterolaemic effect of whey protein was associated with a decrease in very-low-density-lipoprotein cholesterol. At the high dietary protein concentration, whey protein reduced the faecal excretion of bile acids when compared with casein. The effects of intact whey protein v. casein were not reproduced by the amino acid mixtures simulating these proteins. It is suggested tentatively that the cholesterol-lowering effect of whey protein in rats is caused by inhibition of hepatic cholesterol synthesis.

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References
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British Journal of Nutrition
  • ISSN: 0007-1145
  • EISSN: 1475-2662
  • URL: /core/journals/british-journal-of-nutrition
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