Important considerations in the choice of future sustainable protein sources for human application are tolerance, nutritional quality, and potential health benefits. We evaluated, in a double-blind cross-over intervention trial, tolerance, nutritional quality, and potential health effects of two sustainable protein sources. Thirty-six apparently healthy older adults (age 62.3 ± 7.2yrs, BMI 25 ± 3 kg/m2) received 40 g/day bovine-plasma protein (BP), corn protein (CP) or, as a benchmark, whey protein (WP) for one week with a washout period of one week in-between. In 12 participants, we also determined postprandial amino acid (PAA) uptake kinetics upon consumption of 20 g BP, CP, or WP. Changes in self-reported gastrointestinal complaints and intestinal permeability assessed using a multi-sugar acetylsalicylic acid test did not differ between the interventions. Clear differences in PAA responses were observed after consumption of the different proteins, but clear essential amino acid responses were observed for all proteins. BP consumption resulted in a small but significant increase in blood pressure outcomes, and CP consumption resulted in a small but significant decrease in insulin levels when compared to the other interventions. In conclusion, alternative protein concentrates and isolates studied here can be consumed in relative high quantities without experiencing unwanted GI complaints or gut barrier dysfunction and they can be a good source of essential amino acids. The rise in blood pressure observed during the BP intervention, potentially linked to the elevated salt content of the BP, constitutes a potential health issue. Future studies with longer intervention periods might however be recommended.
- Dietary protein
- Nutrient quality
- Protein concentrates isolates