Alpha-lactalbumin Whey Protein Isolate
Davisco's Alpha-lactalbumin is the purest, isolated form of bovine alpha-lactalbumin commercially available. Alpha-lactalbumin is the primary protein in human milk, and is therefore extremely important for infant nutrition. The structure of alpha-lactalbumin is well known and is composed of 123 amino acids and 4 disulfide bridges. The molecular weight of alpha-lactalbumin is 14.2K Daltons. Bovine alpha-lactalbumin has a high homology with human alpha-lactalbumin. Alpha-lactalbumin is a calcium-binding protein that may have a role in calcium transport. Alpha-lactalbumin is rich in the amino acid cysteine, which is a building block of glutathione, a powerful antioxidant in the body that plays an important role in immunity. Alpha-lactalbumin is rich in the amino acid tryptophan, which is a precursor to the neurotransmitter serotonin and the neurosecretory hormone melatonin, which have been shown to play a role in regulating neurobehavioral effects such as appetite, sleeping-waking rhythm, pain perception, mood, anxiety and stress control.*
Alpha-lactalbumin and Infant Formula
The nutrient composition of human milk is the "gold standard" for infant formula development. Whey proteins are an ideal protein source to add to infant formulas to match the high concentration of whey proteins found in human milk and to take advantage of specific health benefits associated with specific whey proteins. Davisco's Alpha-lactalbumin is the most highly purified source of bovine alpha-lactalbumin, and is one of the primary proteins in human breast milk. Alpha-lactalbumin can be used to improve the overall amino acid composition of an infant formula, allowing for a lower total protein level. The most desirable aspect of alpha-lactalbumin is its high concentration of the limiting amino acid tryptophan (4.4g/100g product). A low tryptophan level in infant formula is a typical result of total protein reduction, thus the need for the addition of alpha-lactalbumin. Recent research has also shown that alpha-lactalbumin increases calcium and zinc absorption, which is desirable. An appropriate use level of alpha-lactalbumin is 20-25% of the protein content of the formula.
Alpha-lactalbumin may be suitable for use formula for preterm infants. The protein content of these formulas is higher than that of regular formulas, i.e. about 2.8-3.0g per 100 calories. The advantages of Alpha-lactalbumin cited above are applicable and even more important for preterm infant formulas.
Alpha-lactalbumin is an excellent source of whey protein for lactose-free formulas.
Alpha-lactalbumin and Tryptophan
Alpha-lactalbumin is a rich source of the amino acid tryptophan, that has been shown in studies to improve sleep quality1 cognitive performance under stress2, and mood under stress3*
Davisco's alpha-lactalbumin contains 4.8g tryptophan per 100g protein. Tryptophan is the least abundant amino acid in the diet4. Tryptophan is the precursor to the neurotransmitter, serotonin. Serotonin has been shown to have a positive impact on mood, anxiety and stress control.*
|Protein Source||Grams tryptophan/100g protein|
|BiPRO (Whey Protein Isolate)||2.7|
|Whey Protein Concentrate 80%||2.1|
|Soy Protein Concentrate||1.3|
|Soy Protein Isolate||1.1|
|Source: Genesis R&D Version 7.33
(USDA National Nutrient Database, ingredient manufacturers and reference data)
- Markus, C. R., L. M. Jonkman, J. H. C. Lammers, N. E. P. Deutz, M. H. Messer, and N. Rigtering. 2005. Evening Intake of Alpha-Lactalbumin Increases Plasma Tryptophan Availability and Improves Morning Alertness and Brain Measures of Attention (139kb pdf). American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 81: 1026-33.
- Markus, C. R., B. Olivier, and E. H. F. deHaan. 2002. Whey Protein Rich in Alpha-Lactalbumin Increases the Ratio of Plasma Tryptophan to the Sum of the Other Large Neutral Amino Acids and Improves Cognitive Performance in Stress-Vulnerable Subjects (86kb pdf). American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 75: 1051-6.
- Markus, C. R., B. Olivier, G. E. M. Panhuysen, J. Van der Gugten, M. S. Alles, A. Tuiten, H. G. M. Westenberg, K. Fekkes, H. F. Koppeschaar, and E. E. H. de Haan. 2000. The Bovine Protein a-Lactalbumin Increases the Plasma Ratio of Tryptophan to the Other Large Neutral Amino Acids, and in Vulnerable Subjects Raises Brain Serotonin Activity, Reduces Cortisol Concentration, and Improves Mood Under Stress (82kb pdf). American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 71: 1536-44.
- Young, L.S., S. Stoll. 2003. Proteins and Amino Acids. In: Matarese, L.E. and M.M. Gottschlich, eds. Contemporary Nutrition Support Practice. 2nd ed. New York, NY: Saunders; 94-104.
Alpha-lactalbumin and Renal Diets
Alpha-lactalbumin is a very high quality, complete protein. Alpha-lactalbumin has a PDCAAS (Protein Digestibility Corrected Amino Acid Score) of 1.0. Alpha-lactalbumin is high in branched chain amino acids (BCAAs).
Davisco's alpha-lactalbumin has low levels of phosphorus, calcium and potassium, as shown in the chart below.
|Protein Source:||Phosphorous (mg)||Sodium (mg)||Potassium (mg)||Calcium (mg)||BCAAs (g)|
|Soy Protein Isolate||776||1005||81||178||15.1|
|* Values per 100g product; will vary by product and manufacturer
1 Davisco's Alpha-lactalbumin typical nutrient information and amino acid profile. (PDF - 74kb)
2 BiPRO typical nutrient information and amino acid profile. (PDF - 61kb)
- Alpha-lactalbumin (PDF - 57kb)
Nutrient Info/Amino Acid Profiles
- Alpha-lactalbumin (PDF - 53kb)