You ask, we answer

Do yogurts contain proteins?

do yogurt have proteins? - yogurt in nutrition

Yogurt is an excellent source of high-quality proteins, which are composed of 80% casein (insoluble milk protein) and 20% whey (water-soluble milk protein).  In fact, we speak of “high quality” proteins because milk proteins are well digested and absorbed (good bioavailability), and contain a good mix of amino acids (including the essential amino acids, which cannot be synthesized by the organism and are vital for its growth and maintenance) [1]. The high nutritional value of milk proteins is well preserved during the yogurt making process.

Do yogurts have more proteins than milk?

Some brands of yogurt have a higher protein content than that of milk because of the addition of non-fat dry milk during production. In addition, proteins in yogurt are more digestible than proteins in standard milk due to the fermentation process, which breaks down milk proteins into more easily, digested form [2].

There are also differences in protein content between types of yogurt, for example:

What are the health benefits of consuming proteins?

WHO recommends, as do most national recommendations, a daily amount of 0.83g of protein per kg for a healthy adult [3].

Protein is an essential nutrient that plays a vital role not only in growth, repair and development, but also in immunity, and the health of bones, muscles, skin, and nerves [1]. Moreover, a high-protein diet may have positive effects on blood pressure [4] and on long-term weight gain [5].

What are the health benefits of consuming yogurt proteins?

More specifically, dairy and yogurt proteins have been studied. The high-protein content in yogurt can enhance satiety and help to manage energy intake [6], and may protect against type 2 diabetes [7].

Most countries recommend 2 or 3 servings per day of dairy products, including yogurt (for example the food based recommandations in the USA, France, Germany, Italy, etc.) [8].

What about cow’s milk allergy?

The cow’s milk allergy (CMA), mainly observed in infants and young children, is caused by milk proteins: casein and whey proteins [9]. The ingestion of these proteins induces a reaction of the immune system thinking that the cow’s milk proteins are intruders to be eliminated. Thus, yogurt should be avoided for people with CMA.

Note that lactose intolerance is different from CMA. Lactose intolerance is not an allergy. The organism has difficulty in digesting lactose due to a lack of the enzyme that breaks it down, the lactase. Unlike people with milk protein allergy, those with lactose intolerant can consume yogurt because the lactose it contains is partially digested by bacterial cultures, so it will facilitate its digestion. [10]

[1] FAO. Dietary protein quality evaluation in human nutrition. Report of an FAO Expert Consultation. 2011, Auckland, New Zealand.
[2] Adolfsson O, Meydani SN, Russell RM. Yogurt and gut function. Am J Clin Nutr. 2004; 80(2):245-56
[3] WHO, FAO Expert Consultation. Protein and Amino Acid requirements in human nutrition. WHO technical report series. 2002, Geneva, Switzerland.
[4] Buendia JR et al. Diets Higher in Protein Predict Lower High Blood Pressure Risk in Framingham Offspring Study Adults. Am J Hypertens. 2014; 28(3):372-379.
[5] Smith JD, et al. Changes in intake of protein foods, carbohydrate amount and quality, and long-term weight change: results from 3 prospective cohorts. Am J Clin Nutr. 2015;101:1-9.
[6] Ortinau LC, et al. Effects of high-protein vs. high-fat snacks on appetite control, satiety, and eating initiation in healthy women. Nutr J. 2014 ;13:97.
[7] Tian S, et al. Dietary protein consumption and the risk of type 2 diabetes: a systematic review and meta-analysis of cohort studies. Nutrients. 2017;9:982.
[8] Weaver CW. How sound is the science behind the dietary recommendations for dairy? Am J Clin Nutr. 2014;99(5 Suppl):1217S-22S.
[9] H-Y Lam E, et al. Cow’s milk allergy in adults is rare but severe: both casein and whey proteins are involved. Clin Exp Allergy. 2008;38(6):995-1102.
[10] Lorenzo Morelli, et al. Lactose Intolerance: Clinical Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment. Global Diabetes Open Access Journal. 2019;1(1); 1-10

Pin It on Pinterest