NIZO food research has shown that cheese whey protein protects against intestinal inflammation by stimulating beneficial bacteria and by enhancing the protective mucous layer in the gut.
Cheese whey protein is a rich source of the amino acids threonine and cysteine. These two amino acids have been shown to protect against intestinal inflammation, but the effect of cheese whey protein itself was not known.
NIZO scientist Corinne Sprong has now shown that cheese whey protein protected against clinical symptoms of intestinal inflammation. In an in-vivo model Sprong showed that cheese whey protein enhances the protective mucous layer that covers the intestinal tract. She also found that cheese whey protein stimulates the intestinal microbiota species lactobacilli and bifidobacteria, which are reported to have a beneficial effect on the gut.
Sprong concludes that cheese whey protein may be a useful ingredient for clinical foods for patients with inflammatory bowel disease. NIZO can perform the necessary clinical trials in close cooperation with hospitals.