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Whey Protein

Protein is one of the three macronutrients we need to obtain from food. It is a part of every cell in the body and helps to build and repair cells and tissues.

Food protein supplies amino acids (AAs) that are required for the structure of skin, muscle, bone, teeth, and connective tissue as well as the production of other functional components of the body (e.g., hormones, neurotransmitters, enzymes, and immunoglobulins). Unlike carbohydrates and lipids, which can be stored in the form of glycogen and body fat respectively, the body does not maintain an easily expendable store of protein.

Protein plays an essential role in the human diet as a source of amino acids (AAs) and nitrogen. Prosthetic groups, which are covalently bound to the amino acid backbone, can also be considered part of the protein structure. These groups have important nutritional, physiological, and technological functions, further enhancing the value of proteins in our diet.

To maintain optimum health and support growth, the body needs to be regularly provided with adequate amounts of all the essential amino acids (EAAs). EAAs are those AAs that cannot be synthesized by the human body and need to be acquired through the diet. The ability of protein to supply the required amounts of each EAA and nitrogen in digestible form is related to protein quality. The relevance of protein quality and its impact on nutrition and health outcomes is especially important when considering vulnerable populations who generally more strongly rely on plant-based diets. 

A clear understanding of the digestibility of foods, particularly plant-based foods, is needed for appropriate dietary recommendations to be made. Milk proteins (e.g., whey proteins and caseins) contains all nine of these EAA, which is why they are often described as complete proteins. 

They have a high score in protein quality and offer benefits across all life stages such as reducing stunting in vulnerable populations and aiding muscle maintenance for healthy aging.

Dairy foods are nutrient-rich foods that go beyond of only high-quality proteins providing health benefits. The benefits of dairy foods are a function of their dairy matrix, i.e., the unique structure of a dairy food, its components and how they interact. This matrix enhances the bioavailability and effectiveness of the nutrients, contributing to the overall health benefits of dairy consumption.

Milk & dairy foods are important sources of several nutrients


Helps build and maintain strong bones and teeth


Supports body growth, red blood cell production and metabolism


Helps to strengthen bones

Pantothenic Acid

Helps convert food into energy


Regulates fluid balance and helps maintain normal blood pressure

Vitamin A

Promotes good vision and healthy skin


Promotes proper circulation

If you would like to know more, please read the  IDF Factsheet ‘The Health Benefits of Dairy

Including milk and milk products in the diet is associated with better dietary quality. This IDF Factsheet gives examples of the extensive evidence that, as part of a balanced diet, daily consumption of dairy is beneficial to health.

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