Posted by: renssuperawesomepage | September 16, 2011

Whey Protein, is it all it’s cracked up to be?

It seems these days with the working week becoming longer we are all turning to supplements and meal replacements as a quick and easy alternative to fast food. Many health practitioners and athletes swear by whey protein but is it really all it’s cracked up to be?

What is Whey Protein?

“Whey is left over when milk coagulates and contains everything that is soluble from milk. It is a 5% solution of lactose in water,
with some minerals and lactalbumin. It is removed after cheese is processed. The fat is removed and then is processed for human foods. Processing can be done by simple drying, or the protein content can be increased by removing lipids and other non-protein materials. Whey can be denatured by heat. High heat (such as the sustained high temperatures above 72 °C associated with the pasteurization process)” From the article whey protein
From the article (

In other words whey protein is left over waste product produced by cows that has been pasteurized and dried.

is pasteurization?

If people really understood what happens to dairy products during the pasteurization process I’m 99 % sure they would stop buying products from conventional, commercial farmers. Yes Pasteurized milk means it has been heated to kill harmful bacteria. But it’s really not that simple. There are so many other concerns when it comes to Pasteurization and understanding this process
is vital when it comes to choosing a whey protein product.

The definition of pasteurization – the complete obliteration of enzymes. So what are you really putting into your body when you drink pasteurized milk or juice?

The definition of an enzyme- a complex protein produced by living cells that promotes a specific biochemical reaction by acting as a catalyst.

So in simple terms; protein powder is a result of dried up cow’s milk that has been heated to kill and damage proteins!

The Pasteurization process can have all sorts of effects on it’s products.

  • The more dead something is, the longer it takes our bodies to process it
  • We are told pasteurization is a good thing because it kills off all bacteria and disease so why has all recent outbreaks
    of salmonella occurred in pasteurized milk?
  • Heat alters the amino-acids in milk
  • Destroys vitamins- vitamin c loss < 50 %, vitamin B12 totally destroyed
  • Reduces availability of minerals
  • May alter lactose (contributing to lactose intolerance)
  • Puts unnecessary stress on the pancreas and has been linked to diabetes

Where does Whey come from?

Societies and regions throughout the world have established a healthy link with the inclusion of raw, organic dairy included in their everyday diet. Until recently, whey was considered a waste product by the dairy industry, and dairy farmers used to feed it to their pigs because it was cheap and it helped the pigs gain weight. It was only after dumping millions of gallons of whey into rivers
and roads that the cheese industry investigated making Whey protein from the waste product.

There is no doubt about it that studies have shown positive benefits of taking whey protein, but please be careful when reading studies and claims! The Whey protein used in the studies are of far better quality than the whey the manufacturer actually produces and sells under the claims of the study.


In order to establish the quality of whey you must qualify its source, what is its source?

Ok, so we have already established that whey is a product of cow’s milk. After giving birth a cow normally produces milk for up
to 12 weeks like any female Animal.

As any mother would know to producing milk is at the expense of the mum’s health.

  • Her tissues are damaged
  • She loses weight
  • She may become infertile
  • Her immune system drops so she is more
    susceptible to illness and diseases

In an organic cycle this is Mother Nature at work.

Commercial farmers have disrupted this cycle. They have extended the natural milking cycle of the mother cows by giving her a bovine growth hormone (rBGH). By using rBGH the farmer can postpone the end of the natural milking cycle by a further 8 to 12 weeks. This means that the poor mother cows body undergoes un-necessary stress for twice as long. These cows are also fed corn instead of grass.


One simple reason MONEY!

Corn is cheaper to purchase than grass and farmers found that the mother cows grew fatter by eating corn, so when it came time to sell her for meat she was worth more.

By extending her milking cycle they are able to double the milking production at the expense of the cows health. Yes the cows do become ill so the farmers are treating them with anti-biotics.

So if the only way to determine the quality of the whey was to qualify its source, how can you produce high quality whey
from sick cows?


What are the benefits of whey?

Whey is considered the richest known source of naturally occurring branched chain amino acids (leucine, isoleucine and valine). Therefore, it is recommended for highly active individuals and people who need to improve their overall health.

  • Whey protein stimulates protein synthesis that speeds up recovery and adaptation to stress.
  • Considerable amounts of whey protein can increase cellular glutathione levels. Glutathione is an  antioxidant responsible for defending the body against free radical damage and toxins.
  • Some studies in animals have suggested that milk proteins might reduce the risk of cancer.
  • Whey protein is essentially a milk protein.
  • Whey protein plays an important role as an antioxidant to help increase body immune system.
  • Consistent whey protein intake combined with exercise lead to consistent muscle building.
  • Whey protein might help T-cell activity and can also decrease wasting tissue.

Whey Protein and Weight Loss

Whey protein also aids in weight loss. Protein balances blood sugar levels, while carbohydrates cause blood sugar levels to fluctuate. When the blood sugar level is balanced, dieting individuals do not get tempted to eat often and therefore lose fat.

body cells, builds and also repairs muscles and bones, is a source of energy and controls many important body processes related to metabolism. Protein needs vary from person to person according to age, weight, sex, activity level and overall health. Many people like athletes, body builders, people with special medical needs, dieters etc. need more protein than a normal individual needs.

What long term effects can whey protein have on your body?

Side Effects Of Whey Protein

1. Allergic reactions: Because Protein powders are highly processed a lot of people cannot have a hard time processing the milk or may be lactose intolerant. This may cause severe allergic reactions.

2. Affects kidney function: Although there is no scientific evidence that proves that consuming whey protein does contribute to kidney dysfunction, some health experts believe that whey protein could affect the kidneys. However, it must be noted that all the experts who believe that consuming whey protein can affect the kidneys, also say that whey protein side effects are probable only if it is consumed in very high quantities and that too over many years.

3. Probable liver damage: This is one of those side effects that have not been proven scientifically. Again, some medical experts
do think that consuming large quantities of whey protein for many years on end can cause some damage to the liver. A small part of the medical community does seem to think that undue pressure is put on the liver to break down the high amount of protein present in whey products (and practically any other kind of protein supplement). This added pressure could lead to liver damage, is what they believe.

4. Development of osteoporosis: another side effect of whey protein that has never been proved but is considered to be one of the probable whey side effects is the onset of osteoporosis. The reason behind this is that consumption of high amounts of protein leads to an imbalance of minerals in the bones that causes loss of bone mineral density, thereby leading to osteoporosis. However, this side effect is also not scientifically proven.


Sources used for this article

Through this article I hope I have provided enough
information for you to make up your own mind.

Article requested by Kirsty Welsh and Kristy Harvey

For more information or to request an article please contact

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: