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Milk is made of two proteins, casein and whey. Whey protein can be separated from the casein in milk or formed as a by-product of cheese making.
Whey protein is considered a complete protein and contains all 9 essential amino acids and is low in lactose content.
This Medical News Today information article includes information on the composition of whey protein, its use in muscle building, and its potential health benefits. The article also explains some of the side effects associated with whey protein.
A study published in the journal Clinical and Investigative Medicine1 found that whey protein helps reduce weight loss among HIV-positive patients.
Composition: Whey protein is a mixture of the following:
There are three primary types of whey protein : whey protein concentrate (WPC), whey protein isolate (WPI), and whey protein hydrolysate (WPH):
Whey protein supplementation along with resistance exercise can help improve muscle protein synthesis and promote the growth of lean tissue mass.
A study published in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism concluded that "whey protein supplementation during resistance training offers some benefit compared to resistance training alone." In addition, "males who supplemented with whey protein had a greater relative gain in lean tissue mass."2
Much better gains in strength are associated with whey isolate supplementation compared to casein.
This was demonstrated in another study published in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, which concluded that in "two groups of matched, resistance-trained males whey isolate provided significantly greater gains in strength, lean body mass, and a decrease in fat mass3 compared to supplementation with casein during an intense 10-week resistance-training program."
There are many benefits associated with the consumption of whey protein, and researchers are constantly finding new possible therapeutic properties.
The possible health benefits of consuming whey protein include:
Some people who are allergic to milk may be specifically allergic to whey.
In moderate doses whey protein doesn't generally cause any adverse events.
However, consuming severely high doses can cause:
When milk is left over and coagulates, it eventually turns into a 5% solution of lactose in water, loaded with minerals.
This leftover by-product, called whey, makes up 20% of the protein in milk, the other 80% is called casein (the curds in cottage cheese).
The liquid whey is separated from the casein and sent through filters to remove all non-whey ingredients. It is then purified in a process called "ion exchange".
The final step is removing the water from the whey by turning it into a powder at a drying tower.
The protein powder is then ready to be packaged and consumed.
Written by Joseph Nordqvist
Copyright: Medical News Today
Not to be reproduced without the permission of Medical News Today.
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Nordqvist, Joseph. "What is whey protein? What are the benefits of whey protein?." Medical News Today. MediLexicon, Intl., 29 Oct. 2013. Web.
5 Dec. 2013. <http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/263371>
Nordqvist, J. (2013, October 29). "What is whey protein? What are the benefits of whey protein?." Medical News Today. Retrieved from
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