Nutr Rev. 2018 07 1 ;76(7):539-551. PMID: 29688559
Effect of whey protein supplementation on body composition changes in women: a systematic review and meta-analysis.
Context: A preponderance of evidence supports the beneficial effects of whey protein (WP) supplementation on body composition in men; however, there is currently insufficient evidence to make an equivalent claim in women.Objective: This systematic review and meta-analysis assessed the effects of WP supplementation with or without energy restriction (ER) and resistance training (RT) on changes in body mass, lean mass, and fat mass in women.Data Sources: Pubmed, Scopus, Cochrane, and CINAHL were searched using the keywords"whey protein,""body composition,"and"lean mass."Data Extraction: Two researchers independently screened 1845 abstracts and extracted 276 articles. Thirteen randomized controlled trials with 28 groups met the inclusion criteria.Results: Globally, WP supplementation increased lean mass (WMD, 0.37 kg; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.06 to 0.67) while not influencing changes in fat mass (-0.20 kg; 95%CI, -0.67 to 0.27) relative to non-WP control. The beneficial effect of WP on lean mass was lost when only studies with RT were included in the analysis (n = 7 comparisons; 0.23 kg; 95%CI, -0.17 to 0.63). The beneficial effect of WP on lean mass was more robust when only studies with an ER component were included (n = 6 comparisons; 0.90 kg; 95%CI, 0.31 to 1.49). There was no effect of WP on lean mass in studies without ER (n = 9 comparisons; 0.22 kg; 95%CI, -0.12 to 0.57).Conclusion: Whey protein supplementation improves body composition by modestly increasing lean mass without influencing changes in fat mass. Body composition improvements from WP are more robust when combined with ER .