Human muscle protein synthesis rates after intake of hydrolyzed porcine-derived and cows' milk whey proteins-a randomized controlled trial

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


  • Line Q. Bendtsen
  • Tanja K. Thorning
  • Søren Reitelseder
  • Christian Ritz
  • Erik T. Hansen
  • Gerrit van Hall
  • Arne Astrup
  • Anders Sjödin

Colleges, School and Institutes

External organisations

  • University of Copenhagen
  • Bispebjerg Hospital
  • Danish Crown Ingredients
  • Copenhagen University Hospitals


Background: Whey protein has been shown to be one of the best proteins to stimulate muscle protein synthesis rate (MPS), but other high quality proteins, e.g., animal/porcine-derived, could have similar effects. Objective: To investigate the effects of hydrolyzed porcine proteins from blood (HPB) and muscle (HPM), in comparison to hydrolyzed whey protein (HW), on MPS after intake of 15 g alone or 30 g protein as part of a mixed meal. We hypothesized that the postprandial MPS would be similar for porcine proteins and whey protein. Design: Eighteen men (mean ± SD age: 24 ± 1 year; BMI: 21.7 ± 0.4 kg/m 2) participated in the randomized, double-blind, three-way cross-over study. Subjects consumed the three test products (HPB, HPM and HW) in a random order in two servings at each test day. Serving 1 consisted of a drink with 15 g protein and serving 2 of a drink with 30 g protein together with a mixed meal. A flood-primed continuous infusion of (ring- 13C 6) phenylalanine was performed and muscle biopsies, blood and urine samples were collected for determination of MPS, muscle free leucine, plasma amino acid concentrations and urea excretion. Results: There were no statistical differences between the MPS measured after consuming 15 g protein alone or 30 g with a mixed meal (p = 0.53) of HPB (0.048 ± 0.007 vs. 0.049 ± 0.008%/h, resp.), HPM (0.063 ± 0.011 vs. 0.062 ± 0.011 %/h, resp.) and HW (0.058 ± 0.007 vs. 0.071 ± 0.013%/h, resp.). However, the impact of protein type on MPS reached statistical tendency (HPB vs. HPM (p = 0.093) and HPB vs. HW (p = 0.067)) with no difference between HPM and HW (p = 0.88). Plasma leucine, branched-chain, essential and total amino acids were generally higher for HPB and HW than HPM (p < 0.01), which reflected their content in the proteins. Muscle-free leucine was higher for HPB than HW and HPM (p < 0.05). Conclusion: Hydrolyzed porcine proteins from blood and muscle resulted in an MPS similar to that of HW, although with a trend for porcine blood proteins to be inferior to muscle proteins and whey. Consequently, these porcine-derived muscle proteins can be used similarly to whey protein to support maintenance of skeletal muscle as part of supplements and ingredients in foods.


Original languageEnglish
Article number989
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 30 Apr 2019


  • FSR, amino acids, dietary proteins, muscle protein synthesis, porcine proteins