Denise Ney, professor
Department of Nutritional Sciences
UW-Madison College of Agricultural and Life Sciences
Denise Ney explains how she her research related to developing new foods to help people with PKU, led to the discovery that the protein could also be used to assist in weight control and promotion of strong bones in women.
3:06 – Total Time
0:18 – Genetic disease research success
0:44 – Research mice with stronger bones, less fat
1:26 – Body weight and bone health
1:47 – Process now patented
2:11 – Market development expected
2:33 – May be on market soon
2:41 – Health beverage likely
2:57 – Lead out
Sevie Kenyon: When research goes from one thing to another. We’re visiting today with Denise Ney, Department of Nutritional Sciences, University of Wisconsin-Madison in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences and I’m Sevie Kenyon.
Denise your research has helped people with the disease called PKU, can you explain that disease and what your research is?
Denise Ney: Yes, we were trying to use a protein found in cheese whey, it’s called Glycomacropeptide to develop some new foods for a rare disease, called PKU. For the last five years, there have been, we call them medical foods available for people with PKU to all over the world.
Sevie Kenyon: Denise, a kind of a funny thing happened along the way while you were doing this research. Can you tell us what you found?
Denise Ney: We started out in our research studying mice, we had mice that had PKU and then we had their brothers and sister mice that did not have PKU and we made a discovery of an advantage of the GMP protein for both the wild type and the PKU mice. The mice that did not have PKU had less body fat and oxidized more fat. Besides less body fat, we also noticed that the bones had higher bone mineral density and were stronger.
Sevie Kenyon: Denise, what did these observations in the mice lead to?
Denise Ney: They made us realize that perhaps the Glycomacropeptide would provide use in the management of excess body weight, the treatment of obesity and also to help promote bone health, prevent osteoporosis, of course which is a large problem in women.
Sevie Kenyon: Denise, what did you do with your observations?
Denise Ney: I went to WARF and I discussed what I had found with the WARF staff. They said oh yeah we think we can patent this. And this led to a U.S. patent that was awarded last year. The patent is called Use of Glycomacropeptide to Improve Women’s Health.
Sevie Kenyon: What do you see becoming of this research?
Denise Ney: Our hope is that the patent will be licensed; that a company will decide to bring a product to market-a nutritional supplement-to assist in weight control and promotion of strong bones in women.
Sevie Kenyon: Denise, how long might it be before women are able to see these products on the market?
Denise Ney: It’s hard to say. I would like to see it in a year or two; and it’s possible.
Sevie Kenyon: Can you describe what this may look like in the market?
Denise Ney: I envision several beverages made out of the Glycomacropeptide. This is a whey-based protein, if you think about the athletic industry; I can envision a Glycomacropeptide whey-based beverage. It’s a supplement to a weight control diet.
Sevie Kenyon: We’ve been visiting with Denise Ney, Department of Nutritional Sciences, University of Wisconsin-Madison in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences and I’m Sevie Kenyon.