Scientists have always researched various protein sources, amino acids and in the current times the various proteins and their effects on human health has caught the attention of the researchers In this article we shall discuss about alpha-lactalbumin which holds tremendous promise.
Whey protein has been at the center stage of athletes and sports persons for quite sometime. This type of whey protein is also of importance because of several reasons. The food processing technology has come a long way. With the help of latest technologies it is possible to extract alpha-lactalbumin from the natural blend of whey proteins. This progress would make it possible for the researchers to study in details about the effect of this protein. Once this study results are known the isolated protein can be useful for individuals as well are food producers who want to market it.
A component of milk
Alpha lactalbumin is one of the main components of milk’s whey protein. It is produced by the cells lining the breats milk ducts an also help in producing milk sugar.
For human babies, human milk is the optimal food, and immense effort continues to go into trying to mimic it with infant formula. This is an enormous challenge! To this end, alpha-lactalbumin is extremely helpful. One of many differences between human and cow milk is that alpha-lactalbumin constitutes almost a quarter of the total protein in human milk but only 3.5% of the protein in bovine milk. It’s now established that supplementing infant formula with extra alpha-lactalbumin does indeed help babies’ growth and development. Its effectiveness means that formula can be less protein-rich, bringing its protein level more in line with human milk.
Supplemental alpha-lactalbumin also improves babies’ intestinal health and immune responses ¬– both of which are vital for the immature gut of the newborn – and increases the absorption of essential trace elements like iron and zinc. Overall, it provides formula-fed infants with benefits more similar to those provided by breast milk.
Benefits for adults
Some of the benefits for babies also extend to adults, and the range for potential adult applications is starting to become clear. Here we must consider some of the individual building blocks of alpha-lactalbumin. For example, it is abundant in the amino acid tryptophan, which promotes formation of the neurotransmitter serotonin and sleepiness, and is also being investigated as an anti-depressant and anti-epileptic agent. Its plentiful cysteine content is valued for an ability to switch on the body’s production of glutathione, a powerful antioxidant and immune regulator. And its leucine content also promotes muscle growth.
As you can imagine, these functions could be particularly helpful for older people dealing with age-related decline of immune function and skeletal muscle mass. These are also much-needed benefits for people of any age with illnesses such as HIV or cancer.