Acute effects of whey protein, alone and mixed with other macronutrients, on blood pressure and heart rate in older men

BACKGROUND: Caloric supplements are increasingly used by older people, aiming to increase their daily protein intake. These high caloric drinks, rich in glucose and whey-protein in particular, may result in potential harmful decreases in blood pressure (BP). The effect of ingesting whey-protein with glucose and fat on BP is unknown. It has also been assumed that the maximum fall in systolic blood pressure occurs within 2 h of a meal. METHODS: This study aimed to determine in older men, the effects of whey-protein, alone and mixed with other macronutrients, on systolic (SBP) and diastolic (DBP) blood pressure and heart rate (HR) in older men for 3 h. Thirteen older men (age 75 ± 2yrs; body mass index (BMI) 25.6 ± 0.6 kg/m2) ingested a drink on separate study days: (i) 70 g whey-protein (P280); (ii) 14 g whey-protein, 28 g carbohydrate, 12.4 g fat (M280); (iii) 70 g whey-protein, 28 g carbohydrate, 12.4 g fat (M504); or (iv) a non-caloric control drink (C). RESULTS: SBP decreased after all three nutrient drinks compared to the C, with the greatest reduction after the M504 drink (P = 0.008). Maximal decreases in SBP (C: -14 ± 2 mmHg, P280: -22 ± 2 mmHg, M280: -22 ± 4 mmHg, M504: -24 ± 3 mmHg) occurred about 2 h after drink ingestion and this fall was sustained thereafter (120-180 min: P280 and M504 vs. C P < 0.05). Maximum DBP decreases and HR increases occurred after M504, with no differences between the effects of the P280 and M280 drinks. CONCLUSIONS: The effects of whey-protein containing drinks to lower BP and increase HR appear to be primarily dependent on their energy content rather than macronutrient composition and may persist for at least 3 h after ingestion,. Pure whey-protein drinks may represent the best approach to maximize protein intake without increasing the potential for deleterious BP falls in older people. TRIAL REGISTRATION: ACTRN12614000846628 , 14/03/2019.
Aging, Blood pressure, Diet, Heart rate, Whey protein, Aged, Blood Pressure, Glucose, Heart Rate, Humans, Male, Nutrients, Whey Proteins
BMC Geriatr, 2022, 22 (1), pp. 535 - ?