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      Proprietary Milk Protein Concentrate Reduces Joint Discomfort While Improving Exercise Performance in Non-Osteoarthritic Individuals

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          Milk and dairy products are known to contain various bioactives with potential anti-inflammatory and immune modulating effects. Previous research has indicated that milk produced from hyperimmunized cows provided meaningful health benefits to individuals suffering from varying degrees of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. PURPOSE: To examine the impact of a proprietary milk protein concentrate on joint discomfort and physical function, exercise performance, quality of life and various measures of affect. METHODS: Non-osteoarthritic men (42.5 ± 8.9 years, 176.7 ± 6.7 cm, 89.9 ± 11.5 kg, 28.8 ± 3.5 kg/m 2, n = 30) and women (46.4 ± 9.6 years, 163.1 ± 8.2 cm, 72.2 ± 13.1 kg, 27.2 ± 5.3 kg/m 2, n = 28) with mild to moderate knee pain during physical activity were randomized in a double-blind, placebo-controlled fashion to consume daily either a placebo (PLA) or proprietary milk protein concentrate (MP) for a period of 8 weeks. Participants completed a functional capacity test pre and post-supplementation and completed visual analog scales (VAS), a 6-min walking test, WOMAC and profile of mood states (POMS) to assess changes in joint health, discomfort, physical function, exercise performance and affect. Mixed factorial ANOVA was used for all statistical analysis and significance was set a priori at p ≤ 0.05. RESULTS: Distance covered in the 6-min walking significantly improved 9% in MP versus 2% in PLA (mean difference: 110 ± 43 m, p = 0.012) in addition to 11 WOMAC components and 5 VAS reflective of MP improving joint health, discomfort and joint stability (all p < 0.05 vs. PLA). Additionally, MP also improved overall perceptions of neck and back health compared to PLA. Serum and whole blood indicators of clinical safety remained within normal ranges throughout the study. CONCLUSIONS: In comparison to placebo, daily doses of proprietary milk protein concentrate yielded improvements in several components of the WOMAC, multiple visual analog scales indicative of joint health and stability, discomfort and pain, as well as significant improvements in distance covered during a 6-min walking test. Supplementation was well tolerated with no significant changes in whole-blood or serum markers of clinical safety.

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          Most cited references 19

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          Some health benefits of physical activity. The Framingham Study.

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            Cartilage oligomeric matrix protein: a novel marker of cartilage turnover detectable in synovial fluid and blood.

             T Saxne,  D Heinegård (1992)
            Cartilage oligomeric matrix protein (COMP) is a tissue specific non-collagenous matrix protein. We have developed an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for the detection of this protein in synovial fluid and serum. The protein has been quantified in these fluids in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), reactive arthritis, juvenile chronic arthritis, osteoarthritis and in sera of control subjects. The protein was detectable in all fluids and the synovial fluid levels were always higher than in serum in paired samples. The highest knee joint synovial fluid levels were found in reactive arthritis patients and the lowest in RA patients with advanced destruction of the knee joint. However, the relative synovial fluid content of COMP was higher in these RA patients than in patients with advanced osteoarthritis. In patients with long-standing reactive synovitis the concentrations decreased. This decrease, however, was less marked than for proteoglycan concentrations. The serum concentrations were low in patients with juvenile chronic arthritis and in patients with RA with advanced cartilage destruction of the studied knee joint. In the other groups serum levels did not differ between groups or from controls.
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              Biochemical properties of regulatory peptides derived from milk proteins.

               H Meisel (1996)
              Biologically active peptides derived from milk proteins are inactive within the sequence of the precursor proteins but can be released by enzymatic proteolysis. Based on structure-activity studies, peptides with a defined bioactivity show common structural features. Moreover, many milk protein-derived peptides reveal multifunctional bioactivities. Bioactive peptide fragments originating from milk proteins should be taken into account as potential modulators of various regulatory processes in the body. Opioid peptides are opioid receptor ligands with agonistic or antagonistic activities. Angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitory peptides can exert an antihypertensive effect. Immunomodulating casein peptides have been found to stimulate the proliferation of human lymphocytes and the phagocytic activities of macrophages. Antimicrobial peptides have been shown to kill sensitive microorganisms. Antithrombotic peptides inhibit the fibrinogen binding to a specific receptor region on the platelet surface and also inhibit aggregation of platelets. Casein phosphopeptides can form soluble organophosphate salts and may function as carriers for different minerals, especially calcium. In relation to their mode of action, bioactive peptides may reach target sites (e.g., receptors, enzymes) at the luminal side of the intestinal tract or after absorption, in peripheral organs. The physiological significance of bioactive peptides as exogenous regulatory substances is not yet fully understood. Nevertheless, several bioactive peptides derived from milk proteins have been shown to exert beneficial physiological effects. Milk-derived peptides were already produced on an industrial scale and as a consequence these peptides have been considered for application both as dietary supplements in "functional foods" and as drugs.

                Author and article information

                28 January 2019
                February 2019
                : 11
                : 2
                [1 ]The Center for Applied Health Sciences, 4302 Allen Road, Suite 120, Stow, OH 44224, USA; Awkedia@ (A.W.K.); jh@ (J.S.); br@ (B.R.); hl@ (H.L.L.)
                [2 ]Exercise and Performance Nutrition Laboratory, School of Health Sciences, Lindenwood University, 209 S. Kingshighway, St. Charles, MO 63301, USA; ckerksick@
                Author notes
                [* ]Correspondence: tz@ ; Tel.: +330-926-6927
                © 2019 by the authors.

                Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (


                Nutrition & Dietetics

                milk, protein, immunity, inflammation, concentrate, joint health, osteoarthritis


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