“Whey protein is widely associated with sports nutrition products because of its taste and amino acid profile. Yet food and beverage formulators may consider whey protein for other applications as well, including those promoting anti-aging and immunity benefits.
“This is a major growth area due to population aging, which is particularly rapid in the Asia-Pacific region,” Ms. Liepinyte said. “Age brings many health challenges, one of which is a natural decline in skeletal muscle mass and function. This can have a serious effect on mobility and quality of life, so there’s new demand for whey protein products that (in combination with moderate exercise) can help health-conscious seniors lead stronger, healthier, more active lives.”
Many studies have shown the positive effects proteins from milk have on healthy aging, said Durrell Washington, senior product marketing manager for Glanbia Nutritionals and based in Chicago. A study in the Journal of Nutrition showed proteins from milk support continued strength and activity as people age. Another study in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found whey protein has been shown to reduce muscle wasting in the elderly.
“Finally, several meta-analyses support greater improvement in strength and muscle mass with whey proteins compared to other sources of proteins,” Mr. Washington said.”