Glycomacropeptide (GMP) derived from cheese whey: Treating obesity by manipulating hunger hormones and the gut microbiota

PI: Denise Ney


Denise Ney is a professor of nutritional science and is director of the Didactic Program in Dietetics. Her research program addresses gastrointestinal physiology with a special interest in the dairy protein produced during cheesemaking, glycomacropeptide (GMP). Ney has pioneered the use of medical foods made with GMP for the dietary management of phenylketonuria (PKU), a rare genetic disease.

This research will create a value-added product from cheese whey, a GMP protein supplement, to treat obesity and prevent related health problems in humans. Obesity affects one in three adults and contributes to inflammation, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and premature death. GMP is a 64 amino acid glycophosphopeptide isolated from cheese whey. Pilot studies in humans and mice indicate that GMP has anti-obesity properties, especially in females. GMP reduces hunger hormones and inflammation, increases fat burning and leads to better digestion. Additional human research is needed to support GMP supplements to treat obesity. The tangible outcome of this research is to create a new GMP protein supplement from sweet cheese whey that treats obesity. This research team anticipates a GMP supplement will be available for sale by 2021-2022. This research aligns with the Wisconsin Dairy Task Force 2.0 recommendation #45: “Emphasis on value-added and specialty cheese in Wisconsin.”

Publication in the Journal of Nutrition – April, 2023