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Am J Clin Nutr. 2016 Dec;104(6):1534-1544. Epub 2016 Oct 26.

Whey protein lowers blood pressure and improves endothelial function and lipid biomarkers in adults with prehypertension and mild hypertension: results from the chronic Whey2Go randomized controlled trial.

Author information

Hugh Sinclair Unit of Human Nutrition, Department of Food and Nutritional Sciences and Institute for Cardiovascular and Metabolic Research, School of Chemistry, Food and Pharmacy, and.
Food Production and Quality Research Division, School of Agriculture, Policy and Development, Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Reading, Reading, United Kingdom; and.
Department of Health, Animal Science and Food Safety, University of Milan, Milan, Italy.
Hugh Sinclair Unit of Human Nutrition, Department of Food and Nutritional Sciences and Institute for Cardiovascular and Metabolic Research, School of Chemistry, Food and Pharmacy, and



Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are the greatest cause of death globally, and their reduction is a key public-health target. High blood pressure (BP) affects 1 in 3 people in the United Kingdom, and previous studies have shown that milk consumption is associated with lower BP.


We investigated whether intact milk proteins lower 24-h ambulatory blood pressure (AMBP) and other risk markers of CVD.


The trial was a double-blinded, randomized, 3-way-crossover, controlled intervention study. Forty-two participants were randomly assigned to consume 2 × 28 g whey protein/d, 2 × 28 g Ca caseinate/d, or 2 × 27 g maltodextrin (control)/d for 8 wk separated by a 4-wk washout. The effects of these interventions were examined with the use of a linear mixed-model ANOVA.


Thirty-eight participants completed the study. Significant reductions in 24-h BP [for systolic blood pressure (SBP): -3.9 mm Hg; for diastolic blood pressure (DBP): -2.5 mm Hg; P = 0.050 for both)] were observed after whey-protein consumption compared with control intake. After whey-protein supplementation compared with control intake, peripheral and central systolic pressures [-5.7 mm Hg (P = 0.007) and -5.4 mm Hg (P = 0.012), respectively] and mean pressures [-3.7 mm Hg (P = 0.025) and -4.0 mm Hg (P = 0.019), respectively] were also lowered. Flow-mediated dilation (FMD) increased significantly after both whey-protein and calcium-caseinate intakes compared with control intake [1.31% (P < 0.001) and 0.83% (P = 0.003), respectively]. Although both whey protein and calcium caseinate significantly lowered total cholesterol [-0.26 mmol/L (P = 0.013) and -0.20 mmol/L (P = 0.042), respectively], only whey protein decreased triacylglycerol (-0.23 mmol/L; P = 0.025) compared with the effect of the control. Soluble intercellular adhesion molecule 1 and soluble vascular cell adhesion molecule 1 were reduced after whey protein consumption (P = 0.011) and after calcium-caseinate consumption (P = 0.039), respectively, compared with after control intake.


The consumption of unhydrolyzed milk proteins (56 g/d) for 8 wk improved vascular reactivity, biomarkers of endothelial function, and lipid risk factors. Whey-protein supplementation also lowered 24-h ambulatory SBP and DBP. These results may have important implications for public health. This trial was registered at as NCT02090842.


angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibition; augmentation index; blood pressure; cardiometabolic health; caseinate; dairy; flow-mediated dilatation; milk protein; vascular function; whey

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