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Prebiotic dairy protein promotes digestive health, holds therapeutic promise

Date:
August 19, 2015
Source:
American Physiological Society (APS)
Summary:
A protein found in dairy is discovered to be a prebiotic that holds promise for treating gastrointestinal conditions and obesity, scientists report.
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The protein glycomacropeptide (GMP) is derived from whey, the liquid by-product of the cheese-making process. GMP contains low amounts of the amino acid phenylalanine. Individuals who suffer from phenylketonuria -- a metabolic disorder that causes cognitive impairment when phenylalanine level is too high -- can use GMP as an alternative protein source. GMP supplementation has also been observed to improve gastrointestinal health by protecting the digestive system from pathogens and by having an anti-inflammatory effect.

A new study in American Journal of Physiology -- Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology shows that the protein is a prebiotic: It causes changes to the gut microbiota that benefit the host. The researchers observed that mice that ate GMP as their protein source had fewer bacteria associated with inflammatory bowel disease, enhanced gastrointestinal function and reduced inflammation.

"There is considerable evidence that dietary prebiotics modulate the gastrointestinal microbiota with therapeutic applications to conditions, including irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease, obesity and bone health," according to the researchers. "Palatable functional and medical foods can be made with GMP, and such foods may be beneficial in the management of phenylketonuria, obesity and inflammatory bowel disease," the researchers wrote.


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Materials provided by American Physiological Society (APS). Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Emily A Sawin, Travis J De Wolfe, Busra Aktas, Bridget M Stroup, Sangita G Murali, James L Steele, Denise M Ney. Glycomacropeptide is a prebiotic that reducesDesulfovibriobacteria, increases cecal short chain fatty acids and is anti-inflammatory in mice. American Journal of Physiology - Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology, 2015; ajpgi.00211.2015 DOI: 10.1152/ajpgi.00211.2015

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American Physiological Society (APS). "Prebiotic dairy protein promotes digestive health, holds therapeutic promise." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 August 2015. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/08/150819172434.htm>.
American Physiological Society (APS). (2015, August 19). Prebiotic dairy protein promotes digestive health, holds therapeutic promise. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 28, 2017 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/08/150819172434.htm
American Physiological Society (APS). "Prebiotic dairy protein promotes digestive health, holds therapeutic promise." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/08/150819172434.htm (accessed April 28, 2017).