Whey Protein Ė What is it?

Whey protein is what is left after cheese is made from the casein in milk. It is comprised of four major protein fractions as well as some minor fractions.

The major protein fractions are beta-lactoglobulin, alpha-lactalbumin, bovine serum albumin, and immunoglobulins. Each of these components have important disease-fighting effects.

There are several steps the liquid whey protein must go through in the processing before it is turned into a concentrate.

The processes are; enzyme hydrolysis; predigestion; ultra filtration and diafiltration to remove the milk sugar (lactose) and the fat; reverse osmosis is used in order to separate the different sized molecules; two ion-exchange processes and high speed, low temperature air drying are used to avoid denaturing the final product.

As you can see it is a pretty extensive process.

Must Not Be Denatured

Research scientists tell us that only un-denatured whey protein has disease-fighting benefits!

It is extremely important that you buy a product that has been un-denatured and that has been put through the proper processing in order to benefit from its ability to fight disease.

In order for your body to derive benefit from the whey proteinís ability to increase glutathione levels, and thus boost your immune system, it must be un-denatured.

Processing with high heat such as when being pasteurized, or during various other methods used in processing will denature the product. Even the type of packaging is very important.

You can check out for yourself what happens to an egg when it is denatured by cooking. The white part of the egg becomes hard and insoluble whereas before cooking you will find that it can be dissolved in water.

Health Benefits Of Un-denatured Whey Protein

Research In Canada

The special capacity of whey protein to boost both glutathione levels and immune function was discovered by Dr. Gustavo Bounous and associates at The Montreal General Research Institute and McGill University in Canada.

In the 1980s, the Canadian scientists conducted a series of experiments to evaluate how "changes in the amino acid profile of the diet can influence the immune response independently of any systemic effect on the nutritional status of the host. For example how a specific protein type could possibly enhance the humoral immune response beyond that which has traditionally been considered normal...

The team of Canadian scientists, headed up by Dr. Bounous, has shown through their research that un-denatured whey protein has exciting promise for prevention and treatment of a wide variety of health conditions. This is how they describe it:

"This discovery could provide a method for efficiently increasing cellular glutathione levels for any purposes for which elevated glutathione levels are desired. Such as for drug detoxification, Arteriosclerosis, Alzheimerís disease and Parkinson's disease; cellular protection against oxygen and its metabolites such as peroxides, free radicals or foreign compounds, carcinogens, irradiation, and immunodeficiency states. "

Comparison of Whey To Other Proteins

Scientist agree that the higher the BV (biological value), the better your body can digest and utilize the protein. Body builders also know that the higher the BV of the protein the better for building muscles and repairing tissues.

The measurement of the value of a protein is the BV, which means it is the amount of nitrogen (body protein in grams) replaceable by 100 grams of protein in the adult diet. The higher the BV, the greater its retention of nitrogen.

Whey, being a complete protein, contains all the essential and non-essential amino acids and has the highest BV of any available protein. So letís compare it with some of the others.



Whole egg

Whole milk






Milligrams per 100 grams









Boosting Growth Hormone Action

IGF-1 (insulin-like growth factor) is a hormone released during growth hormone metabolism. The growth in children and on the building of muscle and lean body mass in adults, is determined through the effects of growth hormone by the amount of IGF-1 that is produced.

Researchers have shown that IGF-1 rises in direct proportion to the quality and quantity of protein in the diet. Hydrolyzing whey to make di-, tri-, and oligopeptides (more short and long chain amino acids) further increases the BV of whey to 149-159.

This in turn increases the release of IGF-1, making whey the best body-building protein available by far.

Researchers have shown that the BV of whey can be increased to the range of 149 -159 and is due to the quality and quantity of protein in your diet. Whey can be hydrolyzed to make more short and long chain amino acids to bring about the increase in BV.

For us this means we can have by far the best body building proteins available.

Glutathione and Parkinson's Disease

The severity of disability in patients who died from Parkinson's has been linked to very low levels of glutathione. No such association has been found for Vitamin C levels.

It would appear that the ability of our cells to survive an oxidative assault is linked to its capability to sustain its glutathione level.

If you havenít read the Science page yet, click on this whey protein link to learn how glutathione protects your cells from free radicals and oxidative stress.


If you have questions, please email us by using the "Got a question?" link on our Contact Us page.

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