Plasma-treated whey increased circulating essential amino acids in blood, more so than conventional whey

By Adi Menayang

- Last updated on GMT

Getty Images / monkeybusinessimages
Getty Images / monkeybusinessimages

Related tags Whey protein Bioavailability Protein

Results from a new clinical trial suggest that participants who ingested a whey protein treated with atmospheric plasma had more circulating essential amino acids in the blood, hinting at improved muscle protein synthesis.

Researchers at the Applied Science & Performance Institute in Tampa, FL, compared the blood plasma amino acid response of participants after ingesting conventional whey protein versus a whey protein that has been treated with atmospheric plasma.

“The rise in essential amino acids, BCAA, and leucine was extended to a larger degree in the treated group compared with the non-treated group,”​ the authors wrote in the study, published last week​ in the journal Nutrition and Metabolic Insights.

“Thus, the technical application of treating whey protein isolate with plasma…appears to promote greater concentrations of circulating EAA, BCAA, and leucine.”

Behind the plasma technology is biotechnology company Plasma Nutrition​, founded in 2015 and funded by seed investors as part of the Food-X accelerator’s fourth cohort in the spring of 2016.

Several lab tests on whey protein treated with plasma have shown that the process increases the surface area of whey protein particles, positively influencing solubility and dispersibility. The process also alters the protein structure by exposing hydrophobic pockets of a protein, the researchers reported.

We’d certainly expect any quality protein source to produce elevated levels of amino acids, but all whey protein sources should not be considered equal,​” Chris Flynn Rozanski, co-founder of Plasma Nutrition, told NutraIngredients-USA.

By combining this level of quality with our unique clinically proven results, ioWhey Protein is the clear choice,” ​he added. “As this study shows, ioWhey Protein promotes significantly greater absorption by the body. Additionally, the study reveals that ioWhey Protein promotes a longer period of elevated amino acids, which means that your protein is working for you even longer than with a standard whey.

Products using whey protein that have been treated by Plasma Nutrition’s technology include Performix’s ioWhey Protein powder and protein wafers. Performix’s parent company, Corr-Jensen Inc, funded this present study.

Study details

Twelve healthy men between the ages 19 and 32 participated in the study. They were randomized to consume 30 g of either conventional whey or whey treated with atmospheric plasma mixed with 236 mL water.

Following ingestion, the participants abstained from consuming any food for three hours. Researchers collected blood samples immediately prior to the ingestion of the protein, and at 30, 60, 90, 120, and 180 minutes after consuming the proteins.

The study had a crossover design, which meant that after a six-day washout period, participants revisited the lab to go through the same testing protocol, except ingesting a different type of protein from what they had in the last visit.

Adding value to protein products

According to Rozanski, these results show that the technology can enhance the efficiency and value of whey protein.

While it might sound simple enough to double your dose of protein, consuming a protein shake of that size simply doesn’t make sense for most consumers,” ​he explained. “Doubling your serving size would carry a significant increase in calories, would be much harder to consume in one sitting, and would undoubtedly create gastric discomfort in one large dose.”

“We believe that consumers want products that work smarter for them, rather than those that require consumers to work even harder. ioWhey Protein delivers both performance and value that standard whey protein can’t match.”

Source: Nutrition and Metabolic Insights
Published online,
“Postprandial Plasma Amino Acid Responses Between Standard Whey Protein Isolate and Whey Protein Isolate Plus Novel Technology”
Authors: Matthew H Sharp, et al.

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