Saturday, November 14, 2009

Pea Protein

We are going to New Zealand on Thursday so I'm using up all the stuff in our pantry before we go away. I've finished off all the flavoured rice protein and am now down to unflavoured pea protein. Let's just say it's not my favourite-tasting protein. But it does have other benefits. The following text is extracted from an article titled 'Pea Protein: Give peas a chance!' by Nicholas Thiedeman B.H.Sc

Pea protein and cholesterol
It has been shown that some dietary plant proteins beneficially influence lipid metabolism.

A recent animal study suggests that pea protein stimulates formation and excretion of bile acids, which leads to a reduced hepatic cholesterol concentration (Spielmann, Stangl, & Eder, 2008).

This may be useful especially with overweight individuals who also are at risk of cardiovascular complications due to existing hypercholesterolemia.

Whey vs Dairy vs Pea Protein
Whey protein may not be the best protein choice when trying to lose weight. This is due to whey having a positive influence on insulin secretion, which leads to decreased mobilisation of fatty acids and increased fatty tissue deposition.

Melnik et al suggests that milk protein consumption induces hyperinsulinaemia. Hyperinsulinemia can leads to insulin resistance and affect the body’s fat metabolism. (Melnik, 2009)

Whey protein has also been shown to shift the growth hormone/insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) axis, which leads to increased IGF-1 serum levels.

High levels of IGF-1 signaling is thought to be involved in the pathogenesis of a number of conditions including acne, atherosclerosis, diabetes mellitus, obesity, cancer and neurodegenerative diseases, thus affecting most chronic diseases of Western societies. (Melnik, 2009)

Pea protein does not influence IGF and therefore may be a preferable protein choice for inclusion in weight management programs.


Theidman also mentions that pea protein induces a thermogenic response and if eaten before your CHO in a meal can prevent the glucose spike which occurs following CHO intake. This combination of blood sugar control and thermogenesis may help with weight loss.

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