Whey protein is not that innocent - what to look for when you buy a whey protein powder

  • Whey protein is a great way to boost your protein intake and thereby ensure muscle tissue repair and growth and skin repair and firming (muscle and skin is made of protein).
  • However, whey protein is also an immune-stimulating protein as it contains many immune compounds. Most whey proteins that you can buy in "health food" and bodybuilding stores (probably 95% of the market) contain denatured (damaged) immune compounds due to it's harsh processing, such as cross-flow filtration, microfiltration, isolate filtration, hydrolysation and ion exchange.
  • Denatured immune compounds may irritate the immune system causing intolerance reactions on sensitive people, which although mild in most cases, in the long run are detrimental for the immune system.
  • For this reason it is essential to ensure that you buy pure, "native", non-denatured whey which is as close as to the original component of milk, as possible. Of course, whey produced from organic or grass fed cows is preferred to that produced with industrial farming methods that include hormones, pesticides and other pollutants.
  • A real, pure whey protein provides immunoglobulins / IgG (including among others bovine serum albumin, alpha-lactalbumin and beta-lactoglobulins), lactoferrin (which ensures proper iron supply into the cells that needs it) and cysteine which is a precursor of glutathione, the most important antioxidant and detoxification factor in the human body.
  • Because of it's powerful immune-stimulating effect, whey should not be used excessively or continuously without breaks. But even more importantly, denatured whey should not be used at all, as it can gradually lead to unwanted immune stimulation (intolerances, allergies, auto-immunity etc).
  • So in summary, pure, native, non-denatured protein is great as a protein supplement if it is not used excessively or without breaks, while denatured whey should not be consumed at all due to the damage of immunoglobulins contained in it during the manufacturing process.
  • Please note that whey protein also stimulates excessive insulin secretion, which can either be beneficial for muscle building or detrimental to health, according to the time it is consumed. We have analysed this aspect of whey on another article on this website.