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Br J Nutr. 2009 Aug;102(3):337-41. doi: 10.1017/S0007114508199445.

Effects of high-calcium diets with different whey proteins on weight loss and weight regain in high-fat-fed C57BL/6J mice.

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Institute of Biomedicine, Pharmacology, Biomedicum Helsinki, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland.


The aim of the study was to compare the effect of different whey protein-containing high-Ca diets on weight loss and weight regain in a model of diet-induced obesity. Obesity was induced in C57BL/6J mice with a high-fat (60 % of energy) diet. Weight loss by energy restriction was performed on four different high-Ca diets (1.8 % CaCO3) containing different whey proteins (18 % of energy): alpha-lactalbumin (ALA), beta-lactoglobulin (BLG), lactoferrin (LF) and whey protein isolate (WPI). After 7 weeks of energy restriction some of the mice were killed and the rest were fed with the same diets ad libitum for 7 weeks. The mice on the LF diet lost significantly more weight than mice on the WPI diet. The body fat content in the ALA and LF groups was significantly lower than in the WPI group (P < 0.05) and the LF group differed significantly even from the BLG group (P < 0.05). Ad libitum feeding after weight loss resulted in weight regain in all groups and only the ALA diet significantly reduced fat accumulation during weight regain. The weight regain was most pronounced in the LF group, but the adipocyte size was still significantly smaller than in the other groups. There were no differences in food intake or apparent fat digestibility between the groups. It can be concluded that a high-Ca diet with ALA significantly improves the outcome of weight loss and subsequent weight regain during the feeding of a high-fat diet in C57BL/6J mice, in comparison with WPI.

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