Whey protein is a mixture of the following:
- Bovine serum albumin
There are three primary types of whey protein : whey protein concentrate (WPC), whey protein isolate (WPI), and whey protein hydrolysate (WPH):
Whey protein concentrate – WPC contains low levels of fat and low levels of carbohydrates (lactose). The percentage of protein in WPC depends on how concentrated it is. Lower end concentrates tend to have 30% protein and higher end up to 90%
Whey protein isolate – WPIs are further processed to remove all the fat and lactose. WPI is usually at least 90% protein
Whey protein hydrolysate – WPH is considered to be the “predigested” form of whey protein as it has already undergone partial hydrolysis – a process necessary for the body to absorb protein. WPH doesn’t require as much digestion as the other two forms of whey protein. In addition, it is commonly used in medical protein supplements and infant formulas because of it’s improved digestibility and reduced allergen potential.
Whey protein supplementation along with resistance exercise can help improve muscle protein synthesis and promote the growth of lean tissue mass.
The possible health benefits of consuming whey protein include:
Losing weight – according to one study, published in Nutrition & Metabolism, people who took a specialized whey fraction (Prolibra™, high in leucine, bioactive peptides and milk calcium) “lost significantly more body fat and showed a greater preservation of lean muscle compared to subjects consuming the control beverage”
Anti-cancer properties – Promising results were published in the journal Anticancer Research for the use of whey protein concentrate (WPC) and glutathione modulation in cancer treatment
Lower cholesterol – according to a study published in The British Journal of Nutrition, “there was a significant decrease in total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol at week 12 in the whey group compared with the casein (group)”
Asthma – whey protein could improve immune response in children with asthma. One study, published in the International Journal of Food Science and Nutrition, found that children with asthma who were supplemented with whey for one month had an improved cytokine response
Lowering blood pressure and reducing risk of cardiovascular disease – research published in the International Dairy Journal found that beverages that were supplemented with whey protein significantly reduced blood pressure in patients with hypertension, their risk of developing heart disease or stroke was also lower.
Muscle building -males who supplemented with whey protein had a greater relative gain in lean tissue mass.