Healthcare Professionals Newsletter, January 2021

January 17, 2021

Powering Up with Protein Powder

With many types of protein powders available, including whey, pea, brown rice and collagen, it’s important to understand the science-backed benefits of each in order to ensure one is adequately meeting their nutritional needs and able to make a well-informed decision about which protein powder to use. Overall, protein is a critical macronutrient that acts as the building blocks for tissue in the body, supports muscle growth and is required for proper immune system functioning. Insufficient protein intake is linked to many problems including decline in protein synthesis, endocrine imbalances, impaired nutrient absorption, fatigue, muscle wasting, impaired immunity, more frequent infections and increased morbidity, and mortality rates from infectious diseases.¹

Whether animal or plant-based, protein powders play a valuable role in helping individuals meet their individualized protein needs. While whey protein was the market leader for a long time, plant-based options are now abundant to provide comparable nutrition and amino acid profiles and meet a wider variety of dietary preferences. Growing in interest and popularity – collagen is a trending topic for its role in body composition and skin health! The concept of protein quality is evolving to expand its considerations from an amino acid profile alone to include its impact on human health and the environment. The amino acid profile may differ in plant foods versus animal foods, but plant foods still have been shown to contain all 20 amino acids. Plant protein sources, like pea and soy, are known as complete protein sources since they contain all nine of the essential amino acids.

Whey Protein
Rich in essential branch-chain amino acids leucine, isoleucine and valine whey protein has long been studied for its role in body composition and weight management. Studies have shown that whey protein may reduce long and short-term appetite2, enhance muscle protein synthesis and improve recovery after resistance exercise3. When combined with vitamin D and E, whey protein may help improve skeletal muscle measures, muscle strength, and anabolic markers in older adults with sarcopenia.4 In cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy, whey protein supplements have been shown to increase glutathione levels and improve nutritional status and immunity.5

Pea Protein
Pea protein is a nutrient-rich option for individuals who need to or want to avoid dairy or soy, or prefer a plant-based option (depending on the other ingredients in the product). Pea proteins have high amounts of lysine6 and limited amounts of methionine and are most often paired with other complementary plant proteins, like brown rice protein, to ensure the final product contains higher amounts of all the essential amino acids. Like dairy proteins, pea protein is an excellent source of branch-chain amino acids, leucine, isoleucine and valine which help promote muscle growth.6 A study examining oral supplements found a higher increase in muscle thickness after a 12-week resistance training program with pea protein supplementation compared to a placebo.7 Additionally, the results comparing pea and whey protein’s impact on muscle thickness were similar, indicating they are both effective protein supplements.7

Brown Rice Protein
Brown rice protein is ideal for those seeking plant-based protein sources or for those with dairy allergies. Like pea protein, brown rice protein is typically paired with other complementary plant products to provide higher amounts of all essential amino acids. Brown rice protein is generally rich in methionine and lower in lysine and is paired with proteins like pea protein to complete the amino acid profile.7

You may hear a lot of buzz around collagen, a protein supplement with documented benefits and the most abundant protein.8 It has been studied for its role in bone, muscle and skin health. A randomized, blind, placebo-controlled study found a drinkable collagen supplement significantly improved skin hydration, elasticity, roughness, and density after 12 weeks.9 Reviews of the literature on collagen have stated that early findings are promising for the use of collagen supplements for wound healing and skin aging.10 In an aging population with sarcopenia, collagen in combination with resistance exercises has been found to improve body composition and muscle strength.11

With a variety of protein powders and shakes in Orgain’s product portfolio – there are options to help meet the dietary preferences and protein needs of your patients or clients. Click here to view our Orgain Product Guide, which includes nutritional highlights and ingredients of our protein powders and more.

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¹ Wu G. Dietary protein intake and human health. Food Funct. 2016 Mar;7(3):1251-65. doi: 10.1039/c5fo01530h.
² Mollahosseini M, Shab-Bidar S, Rahimi MH, Djafarian K. Effect of whey protein supplementation on long and short term appetite: A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Clin Nutr ESPEN. 2017 Aug;20:34-40. doi: 10.1016/j.clnesp.2017.04.002. Epub 2017 May 8.
³ West DWD, Sawan SA, Mazzulla M, Williamson E, Moore DR. Whey Protein Supplementation Enhances Whole Body Protein Metabolism and Performance Recovery after Resistance Exercise: A Double-Blind Crossover Study. Nutrients. 2017 Jul 11;9(7):735. doi: 10.3390/nu9070735.
⁴ Bo Y, et al. A high whey protein, vitamin D and E supplement preserves muscle mass, strength, and quality of life in sarcopenic older adults: A double-blind randomized controlled trial. Clin Nutr. 2019. PMID: 29395372 Clinical Trial.
5 Bumrungpert A, Pavadhgul P, Nunthanawanich P, Sirikanchanarod A, Adulbhan A. Whey Protein Supplementation Improves Nutritional Status, Glutathione Levels, and Immune Function in Cancer Patients: A Randomized, Double-Blind Controlled Trial. J Med Food. 2018 Jun;21(6):612-616. doi: 10.1089/jmf.2017.4080. Epub 2018 Mar 12.
6 Lu ZX, He JF, Zhang YC, Bing DJ. Composition, physicochemical properties of pea protein and its application in functional foods. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2020;60(15):2593-2605. doi: 10.1080/10408398.2019.1651248. Epub 2019 Aug 20.
7 Babault, N., C. Paizis, G. Deley, L. Guerin-Deremaux, M. H. Saniez, C. Lefranc-Millot, and F. A. Allaert. 2015. Pea proteins oral supplementation promotes muscle thickness gains during resistance training: a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial vs. Whey protein. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition 12 (1):3. doi: 10.1186/s12970-014-0064-5.
8 Lodish H, Berk A, Zipursky SL, et al. Molecular Cell Biology. 4th edition. New York: W. H. Freeman; 2000. Section 22.3, Collagen: The Fibrous Proteins of the Matrix. Available from:
9 Bolke L, Schlippe G, Gerß J, Voss W. A Collagen Supplement Improves Skin Hydration, Elasticity, Roughness, and Density: Results of a Randomized, Placebo-Controlled, Blind Study. Nutrients. 2019 Oct 17;11(10):2494. doi: 10.3390/nu11102494. PMID: 31627309; PMCID: PMC6835901.
10 Choi FD, Sung CT, Juhasz ML, Mesinkovsk NA. Oral Collagen Supplementation: A Systematic Review of Dermatological Applications. J Drugs Dermatol. 2019 Jan 1;18(1):9-16. PMID: 30681787.
11 Zdzieblik D, Oesser S, Baumstark MW, Gollhofer A, König D. Collagen peptide supplementation in combination with resistance training improves body composition and increases muscle strength in elderly sarcopenic men: a randomised controlled trial. Br J Nutr. 2015 Oct 28;114(8):1237-45. doi: 10.1017/S0007114515002810. Epub 2015 Sep 10. PMID: 26353786; PMCID: PMC4594048.

Orgain Ambassadors

Direct-to-Patient Sampling Program

Direct to Patient Sampling

We are pleased to introduce the Direct-to-Patient Sampling Program through the Healthcare Ambassador portal so you can send Orgain samples directly to your patients and clients. Just log on to your Ambassador portal and click, “Send Samples to my Patient”.

If you are interested in sending Orgain samples directly to your patients and clients and are not yet an Ambassador, request an account to participate! Hear what your peers have to say…

“…I love that we can now have samples shipped direct to patients.” – Wendimere, Clinical Dietitian

“I think the program is one of the best, most convenient ways for patients to receive samples during the pandemic that I’ve seen so far. The option for patients to also see the tracking information is an added bonus!” – Liz, Oncology Dietitian

Healthcare Community

Share Your Opinion

In December, we asked Orgain’s Healthcare Ambassadors for their tips for staying healthy during the holidays. Here is what your colleagues had to say:

“Staying committed to healthy eating” – Kristina Frederick PA-C

“My top tips for staying healthy during the holidays include taking time for yourself and find ways to de-stress whenever possible – such as taking a walk/jog or reading a book. Fueling your body with nutrient-rich foods, sticking with a regular sleep schedule and staying hydrated are also key tips” – Samina Kalloo, RDN, CDN

“I LOVE this quote: “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.” Of course, I don’t believe anyone intentionally plans to fail, but sometimes too many priorities or lack of time or self-discipline results in our failing to plan which can lead to feelings of guilt, frustration, regret or disappointment. Whatever your biggest challenge might be (whether it’s exercise, eating healthy, sleeping or spending time with loved ones) make a plan you are confident you can commit to.” – Acacia Wright, RD Orgain Healthcare Registered Dietitian

We value the expertise of healthcare professionals and want to hear from you! Join the conversation and share your opinion in the Orgain Healthcare Ambassador Collective group on Facebook for a chance to be featured in next month’s newsletter!

What are your tips for overcoming COVID cooking fatigue?

Click here to weigh in with other Orgain Healthcare Ambassadors! If you haven’t already, request an Ambassador account, then join the private group on Facebook. We look forward to hearing from you!

Professional Education

Upcoming Live Webinars

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Helping Your Clients Navigate Plant-Based Eating – Exploring Clinical Approaches and the New Dietary Guidelines

Sherene Chou, MS, RDN

Approved for 1.0 CPEU for RDNs and DTRs
January 28, 2021 at 2pm EDT

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Meet Your Microbiome: Eating for Gut Health

Mary Purdy, MS, RDN

Approved for 1.0 CPEU for RDNs and DTRs
February 18, 2021 at 2pm EDT

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Pediatric Nutrition Breakthroughs: 5 Advances Every Practitioner Should Know

Jill Castle, MS, RDN

Approved for 1.0 CPEU for RDNs and DTRs
March 11, 2021 at 2pm EDT

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Intermittent Fasting: A Novel Approach to Reduce the Risk of Cardiometabolic Disease or Just Another Diet Fad?

Kristin Hoddy, PhD, RD

Approved for 1.0 CPEU for RDNs and DTRs
April 22, 2021 at 2pm EDT

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Food Truths, Trends and the Pandemic: Diet and Nutrition Trends Impacting Health

Kathleen M. Zelman, MPH, RDN, LD

Approved for 1.0 CPEU for RDNs and DTRs
June 10, 2021 at 2pm EDT

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Recovery Nutrition for Athletes: Sifting Out the Science from the Sensationalism

Becca McConville, MS, RD, LDN, CSSD, CEDRD-S

Approved for 1.0 CPEU for RDNs and DTRs
August 12, 2021 at 2pm EDT

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Eating Like the World Depends On It (because it does…)


Approved for 1.0 CPEU for RDNs and DTRs
September 9, 2021 at 2pm EDT

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Prescribing Wellness: Practitioner Steps for Patient Success.

Beryl Krinsky, MBA, MS, RD, LDN

Approved for 1.0 CPEU for RDNs and DTRs
October 7, 2021 at 2pm EDT

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Individualizing Nutrition for Type 2 Diabetes: Out with the Old, In with the New

Angela Manderfeld, MS, RD, CDCES, BC-ADM

Approved for 1.0 CPEU for RDNs and DTRs
November 11, 2021 at 2pm EDT

Orgain in Practice

Practitioner Testimonial

“I’ve never found a plant-based protein powder specifically that is so loved by so many athletes, and I’d love to be able to recommend it to other people.”

– Laura
Sports Dietitian

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