Role of whey proteins in combating geriatric disorders



Ageing in humans is usually accompanied by deterioration in physical fitness and increased susceptibility to disease, adding to the economic burden of the person concerned. Inadequate food intake, reduced desire to eat, decline in food digestion or absorption, compromise in nutritional metabolic pathways, poor dental hygiene or preponderance of chronic diseases, which are commonly found in the elderly, can lead to an increased risk of under-nutrition. Adequate dietary nutrition has an undisputed role in healthy ageing. Among the various nutrients, proteins play an important role in geriatric health. This review emphasizes the nutritional aspects of milk-based whey proteins and their role in tackling health problems in the geriatric population. Nutritionally rich whey protein constituents such as β-lactoglobulin, α-lactalbumin, bovine serum albumin, lactoferrin and proteose peptone have all been reported to have a plethora of functional roles in various biological processes and organ systems in geriatrics and thus help in the management of geriatric health problems through proper nutrition. © 2013 Society of Chemical Industry