Whey (milk plasma) is the liquid left behind after milk has been curdled and strained. Basically, whey is a by-product of the produce of cheese or casein and has several commercial uses. Sweet whey is produced during the making of rennet types of hard cheese like Swiss or cheddar cheese. Acid whey, which is also known as sour whey, is acquired during the making of acid types of cheese, for example cottage cheese. Whey contains lactose, vitamins and minerals along with tiny amount of fat.
Whey is also rich in protein that is the key to our normal development, repair of cells as well as the production of hormones, immune cells and body muscles. Over the years, scientists across the globe have been endeavoring to find the benefits of whey protein. Although whey is derived from whole milk that contains fat and lactose – a milk
sugar that is difficult to digest, it does not contain any of these ingredients. On the other hand when encloses six different types of proteins that have the potential to combat various diseases. This is where whey is becoming increasingly important as a therapeutic substance.
Talking about the benefits of protein, several studies conducted on this substance has established how it is helpful in increasing the immune or resistance power in the animals against diseases and also its advantages in effectually combating common infections like Salmonella infection and Streptococcus pneumonia. In addition, whey protein is able to enhance the blood levels of glutathione – the key antioxidant in the body that is found almost in all cells. It may be noted here that glutathione not only safeguards us from all open fundamental hit by bacteria, fungus and even different viruses, but also aids in ensuring that our immune system functions effectively. It has been found that as people age, the intensity of glutathione in the body declines and according to many researchers, this single factor leads to many diseases.
In fact, poor levels of glutathione in the body make a person more vulnerable to different kinds of ailments and disorders. For instance, it has been found that people suffering from the Alzheimer’s disease have lower levels of glutathione in their body when compared to people who are not affected by the disorder. This finding has led many researchers to believe that glutathione acts as a vital protective shield against various diseases and the lack of adequate intensity of glutathione in the body is more often responsible for most of the degenerative disorders in people. What is significant is the fact that normally dietary supplements comprising glutathione are not easily soaked in by the body. Hence, any substance that helps in enhancing the glutathione levels in the body are considered to be prized. Whey is one such substance and hence very valuable.
Importantly, concentrated whey proteins have the properties of helping in living longer. This has been confirmed by laboratory tests on animals. A study conducted on hamsters have shown that the hamsters that were fed on whey proteins supplements lived sixty per cent longer than those who were provided with general animal diet. However, scientists are yet to ascertain whether this is owing to whey protein’s ability to increase glutathione levels in the blood or other properties.
Whey protein is more popular than any other protein supplements among the athletes and bodybuilders across the globe who use it regularly not only for the speedy development of their muscles, but also in helping in fast recovery from injuries sustained during sports performances. Many people suffering from concealed if not anomalous immune systems or some kind of worsening diseases make use of whey proteins that are undenatured bioactive with a view to enhance the antioxidant levels in their body. In fact, researches have found that undenatured whey proteins are rich sources of cysteine – a provisionally vital amino acid which forms the speed restrictive aspect of glutathione production by the body. It is also an indispensable antioxidant.
A recent study conducted on whey protein has discovered that supplements comprising whey proteins may put off blood sugar barbs following any high carbohydrate meal. This feature of whey protein makes it highly beneficial for people suffering from diabetes.
Consumption of whey protein in the form of a constituent of a nourishing diet may help in facilitating endeavors to lose weight. The Whey Protein Institute says that our body utilizes additional energy for digesting proteins compared to any other food, generating a thermic result and enabling us to burn calories at a higher rate following eating a meal rich in proteins. Whey proteins enclose very less number of calories and are also low in fat and sugar content, aiding us to avoid gaining weight. At the same time, it is effective in maintaining a slim body composition. Consumption of whey protein also aids in lessening time for absorbing glucose into the bloodstream and, thus, prevents hunger. Sluggish absorption of glucose may also aid us in dealing with the urge for nibbling between meals.
Often, tension and anxiety may result in an emotional sensation of being exhausted and also lead to overeating. Consumption of whey protein not only helps us to lessen stress, but also neutralize this emotional feeling. In addition, whey proteins also inhibit cortisol production, a hormone related to stress, thereby, reducing depression and stress. At the same time, they facilitate serotonin secretion, which helps to calm the mind.
Whey protein also supplies us with large amounts of BCAAs (branched-chain amino acids) that aid in glutamine manufacture providing fuel for the immune system. It also aids in augmenting humoral or antibody reaction to promote the health of the immune system. Whey protein enhances the antibody responses in the intestinal tract. It is also a wonderful resource of cysteine that augments the amount of glutathione, while sustaining as well as augmenting the functioning of the immune system providing optimal immunity. It may also aid patients with cystic fibrosis in sustaining the optimal levels of glutathione enabling them to neutralize the negative consequences of oxidative stress related to the disease.
Whey protein offers several other health benefits. It has a protective as well as anti-microbial action against ulcers plus additional mucosal injuries, such as H. pylori. Whey protein is also an excellent resource of bioactive constituents having anti-viral and anti-microbial attributes that help to support the health of the intestines. It is also digested very fast and absorbed effectively by the body that aids in stimulating synthesis of proteins against casein (a protein produced from milk). Whey protein provides us with elevated levels of protein that can also be tolerated easily by people who have lactose intolerance.
Studies undertaken on animals have hinted that whey protein may possibly also aid in protecting against the risk of developing cancer. Compared to soy protein, whey protein is further effectual in diminishing the size as well as the number of colon and breast tumours. It also aids in improving the glutathione levels in tissues providing some extent of safeguard from the growth and progression of carcinogenic cells as well as cancer tumours. Whey protein also augments the secondary response of humoral antibody, besides facilitating in the sustenance of muscle mass in people who are undergoing therapy for cancer.
Whey protein may also aid in reducing the risk factors related to cardiovascular diseases, such as triglycerides, cholesterol (HDL), hypertension and C-reactive protein. In addition, it may possibly also lower the blood pressure in people who are having medium hypertension by inhibiting angiotensin converting enzyme or ACE.
It is an excellent basis of bio-available calcium which when used in conjunction with additional dairy nutriments supports the health of bone. Whey protein encloses several active elements that aid in promoting the development of cells that mold bones.
Whey protein contains high concentration of cysteine and BCAA and this is why in the case of HIV patients it may be helpful in diminishing lean muscle mass loss (also known as muscle wasting). It augments as well as reinstates the levels of plasma glutathione, an important antioxidant, in HIV patients. Besides, it may possibly also be helpful in suppressing viral loads as well as improving the immunity in people who have been diagnosed HIV positive. Before concluding, it needs to be mentioned that whey protein is very soluble and can be easily absorbed by the body and is especially beneficial for people whose capacity to absorb nutrients is impaired.