Medical researchers have started to track the growing importance of alpha-lactalbumin as the predominant protein component of mammals, particularly the source component of human breast milk, composing up to an average of 25% found in breast milk’s nutrients. The total concentration of this protein serves many crucial functions from an extensive physiological and immunological standpoint. It is also one of the reasons that human milk is superior to cow’s milk in feeding infants. Today, it has been synthesized into many milk products and substitutes in the form of alpha lactalbumin powder so that nutrition does not take the backseat.
However, this protein helps to synthesize the milk sugar lactose. It is added to some infant formula mixtures to make them more nutritious and healthy. Lactose is the major carbohydrate found in milk. It is a combination of the two sugars: glucose and galactose. Alpha-lactalbumin acts as a regulatory unit for the enzyme that synthesizes lactose by combining these two sugars. This protein complex stimulates lactose production and is itself stimulated by a hormone known as prolactin.
Application of the Protein
When an infant sucks a nipple, this stimulates prolactin production, which also causes the breast to fill with milk. Its presence contributes to the nutritional benefits of breastfeeding. But on the flip side, it’s imperative to mention some facts about the concentration point of protein that results in the production of alpha lactalbumin powder also ranging to the whey protein –
- It is the second-highest amount of protein found in isolate whey powder.
- It is a proper protein source applied to be high in essential amino acids, branded-chain amino acids, high digestibility, and is lactose and fat-free.
- Tryptophan content is amounted to around 48 mg per gram of whey powder, which is one reason why alpha-lactalbumin consumption is recommended before sleeping.
- The bioavailability of cysteine in this protein helps to process the immune system effectively while building and repairing tissues alongside curing oxidative damage.
- The source of an adequate ratio of cysteine to methionine in this protein specifically supports digestion, absorption, and utilization of the important amino acids.
- Alpha-lactalbuminis the form of whey that helps athletes and bodybuilders to maintain muscle mass during periods of intensive fasting and other catabolic conditions.
Management of the Protein
As already mentioned, alpha lactalbumin powder is mostly present in isolate whey than concentrated whey. Combing the richness in essential and conditional amino acids, this protein is suitable for a variety of medical nutrition applications such as –
- Ultra-high temperature (UHT) drinks.
- UHT bars.
- UHT powders.
Some of the health benefits associated with the proper consumption of this protein source include –
- Age-related muscle loss and looseness.
- Weight management and healthy muscle mass during weight loss or fat burning periods.
- Blood glucose control.
Thus, it can be concluded that this protein takes form in natural whey, which is paramount to maintain a healthy body with the innate capacity to handle the daily challenges of lifestyle like the β lactoglobulin brings.