Whey Protein, but Not Soy Protein, Supplementation Alleviates Exerciseinduced Lipid Peroxidation in Female Endurance Athletes

Myra K. Tara, Jean Soon Park, Bridget D. Mathison, Lindsey L. Kimble, Boon P. Chew*
School of Food Science, Washington State University, Pullman, WA 99164-6376, WA, USA

© 2013 Tara et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the School of Food Science, FSHN 110, Washington State University, Pullman, WA 99164-6376, USA; Tel: 509-335-1427; Fax: 509-335-4815;



The objective of this study was to assess the protective effects of whey and soy protein supplementation on inflammatory response, oxidative damage and body composition in active female endurance athletes.


Healthy female endurance athletes (18-25 y; n = 18) running at least one hour per day, five days per week were randomly assigned to consume 40 g whey or soy protein daily, in a 6-wk double-blind study. Blood samples were obtained following completion of a one hour run at baseline and wk 6, and analyzed for inflammatory and oxidative biomarkers. DXA scans were completed to determine body composition.


Whey protein intervention decreased (P> 0.05) plasma TBARS concentrations, indicating suppressed lipid peroxidation. Supplementation with soy protein had no effect on markers of oxidative damage and inflammation, but decreased (P> 0.05) reduced glutathione indicating a reduction in antioxidant activity. Protein supplementation had no significant effect on body composition.


Supplementation with whey protein decreased lipid peroxidation in in female endurance athletes suggesting a potential antioxidative action, while soy protein did not improve biomarkers of oxidative damage and inflammation.

Keywords: Inflammation, endurance exercise, body composition, protein supplementation.