The following summarizes an exchange with someone familiar with the Ortho Molecular Products variety of protein drinks, such as LifeCORE Complete.
What would be the benefit(s) of LifeCORE protein compared to a typical whey protein product?
The differences between a whey protein isolate and a product like LifeCore Complete is multi-faceted.
The first thing is that LifeCore Complete is going to better replicate a Mediterranean diet by focusing not just on protein, but also good, complex carbohydrates and good healthy fats (olive oil, MCTs and Flax). The balance of macronutrients is an ideal option for patients who are looking to have a more balanced approach to their diet.
The second comes down to the protein itself. I’m not personally anti-whey, but it is important to know that dairy is the #2 allergy in the US. So, if you had a dairy sensitivity or allergen, it could be driving inflammatory processes within the GI tract, which could be counter-productive to your health goals.
LifeCore Complete uses 3 different plant based proteins. All of these are hypoallergenic. Part of the reason we use diversity of proteins is to get a more complex amino acid profile, but also for certain benefits of the proteins. Pea protein and Potato Protein will both increase something called cholecystokinin. This is a hormone that sends a signal to the brain that will give you a sense of fullness (satiety). The potato protein will also increase glucagon-like peptide 1 which is also a satiety hormone. To my knowledge, whey protein does not provide this kind of signaling that will help curb appetite.
From a digestibility perspective, there are few side by side comparison trials looking at how easily digested one type of protein is to another. I can say with some certainty that whey is one of the proteins that is quickly digested (which affects absorption), so it is difficult to find proteins that can match that. But again, there is very little data doing side by side comparison.
To answer your question in simple terms, the benefits you will get from LifeCore Complete versus a straight whey protein would be 1.) A balanced macronutrient product, 2.) Hypoallergenic protein sources, 3.) Healthy fats, 4.) increased satiety (from the proteins and fats).
You will notice that the whey protein will have a creamy texture, which will make it a little more pleasant to the palate, while our protein will be a little grittier than a whey. I don’t personally have a problem, but to do a side by side comparison, you would be able to tell a difference.