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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Albany, California » Western Regional Research Center » Healthy Processed Foods Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #404414

Research Project: Prevention of Obesity Related Metabolic Diseases by Bioactive Components of Food Processing Waste Byproducts and Mitigation of Food Allergies

Location: Healthy Processed Foods Research

Title: Whey protein hydrolysate renovates age-related and scopolamine-induced cognitive impairment

item DING, NING - China Agricultural University
item MENG, HANXIN - China Agricultural University
item WU, CHAO - Hilmar Cheese Company
item Yokoyama, Wallace - Wally
item HONG, HUI - China Agricultural University
item LUO, YONGKANG - China Agricultural University
item TAN, YUQING - China Agricultural University

Submitted to: Nutrients
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/24/2023
Publication Date: 2/28/2023
Citation: Ding, N., Meng, H., Wu, C., Yokoyama, W.H., Hong, H., Luo, Y., Tan, Y. 2023. Whey protein hydrolysate renovates age-related and scopolamine-induced cognitive impairment. Nutrients. 15(5). Article 1288.

Interpretive Summary: Cognitive decline with age is a major global problem as the world’s population ages. This study shows that whey protein hydrolysates improve memory scores in mice fed whey protein hydrolysates. The hydrolysates were more effective than whole whey. In addition to memory improvements whey protein hydrolysates reduced the protein Aß1-42, a biomarker for Alzheimer’s disease. The hydrolysate also altered the distribution of a gut bacteria associated with Alzheimer’s disease suggesting that whey protein hydrolysates produce their effect indirectly through the gut microbiome.

Technical Abstract: Whey protein and its hydrolysates are ubiquitously applied in the food system. However, their effect on cognitive impairment remains unclear. This study aimed to investigate the potential effect of whey protein hydrolysate (WPH) on cognitive degeneration. WPH intervention in ICR and aged C57BL/6J mice in a scopolamine-induced cognitive impairment model for 10 days were evaluated. Behavioral tests indicated that WPH intervention improved the cognitive abilities in ICR and aged C57BL/6J mice (p<0.05). Scopolamine enhanced the Aß1-42 level in the brain tissue and the WPH intervention exhibited a similar therapeutic effect to donepezil in ICR mice. A noticeable reduction occurred in serum Aß1-42 level of aged mice treated with WPH. The histopathological study of the hippocampus showed that WPH intervention alleviates neuronal damage. Hippocampus proteomic analysis suggested possible mechanisms of WPH action. Interestingly, the relative abundance of Christensenellaceae, a gut microbe related to Alzheimer’s disease, was altered by WPH intervention. This study demonstrated that short-term WPH intake protected against memory impairment induced by scopolamine and aging.