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Whey protein supplementation increases methionine intake but not homocysteine plasma concentration in rats

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The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of whey protein supplementation on homocysteine (Hcy) metabolism and liver oxidative stress in rats. Twenty-four rats were divided into 3 groups (n = 8) to receive one of the following diets for 4 weeks: control diet (C), whey protein-composed diet (WP), and whey protein-supplemented diet (WPS). The C and WP diets consisted of AIN-93 with 20% casein and 20% whey protein as protein source, respectively. WPS was AIN-93 (20% casein) supplemented by the addition of 20% (w/w) whey protein. Four weeks of ingesting a WPS diet resulted in a significantly higher (P < 0.05) total protein and methionine intakes. Although a significant increase (P < 0.05) in the hepatic S-adenosylmethionine and S-adenosylhomocysteine levels occurred in WPS group compared with C and WP, no significant change was observed in plasma Hcy concentration between groups. Furthermore, the levels of lipid hydroperoxides and advanced oxidation protein products, known liver oxidative stress markers, were increased in the WPS group compared with the C group. In addition, no change in glutathione liver concentration was observed in any of the groups studied. In conclusion, whey protein supplementation increases methionine intake substantially; however, it does not change plasma Hcy concentrations. On the other hand, increased hepatic oxidative stress markers were observed in whey protein supplemented rats were probably due to high protein intake.
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Keywords: foie; glutathion; glutathione; hyperhomocysteinemia; hyperhomocystéinémie; liver; oxidative stress; protein supplements; stress oxydatif; suppléments protéiques

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Laboratory of Nutrition and Metabolism, Faculty of Medicine of Ribeirao Preto, University of Sao Paulo, Av. Bandeirantes 3900, Ribeirao Preto, Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Publication date: January 1, 2015

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