a1 Nutritional Physiology Research Centre, Sansom Institute for Health Research, University of South Australia, Adelaide, South Australia 5001, Australia
Protein hydrolysates provide a rich source of protein which is useful in situations where excess protein is needed, such as during repair of tissue damage. The consumption of protein hydrolysates has been shown to result in more rapid uptake of amino acids compared with whole proteins or free-form amino acid mixtures and some peptides in hydrolysates exhibit biological activity. Early studies showed that protein hydrolysates are more effectively utilised than intact proteins or amino acids. In addition, they promote a strong insulinotropic effect, which reduces protein breakdown and enhances muscle and tissue uptake of branched-chain amino acids. These effects contribute to benefits of protein hydrolysates for enhancing repair of tissue damage caused by surgery, ulcers, burns and muscle-damaging exercise. While there is evidence that protein hydrolysates may be useful for facilitating tissue repair, additional research is needed to further examine various roles of protein hydrolysates in this process.
Abbreviations: BCAA, branched-chain amino acid