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9 kinds of functions and side effects of whey protein

Whey Protein is supplement for athletes, fitness enthusiasts and people who want to build muscle or lose weight (others include: creatine, BCAA, L-carnitine)

There are lots of benefits for training results and health, but there are also side effects of it.

Some articles even claim that too much whey protein can damage the kidneys and liver, and even lead to osteoporosis

Whey protein is a protein mixture separated from whey. The main component contains a variety of amino acids, including all essential amino acids, as well as some immunoglobulins and growth factors. Whey is the liquid part separated from milk in the process of cheese production. It is composed of protein, lactose, minerals, immunoglobulin and trace fat. After multiple processing steps, it eventually becomes a commercially available whey protein powder, which is the most common sports supplement


  1. Whey protein increases muscle mass and strength (with resistance training)

The human body is made up of more than 500 skeletal muscles controlled by the nervous system. These skeletal muscles connect and support the skeletal system. This allows the body to perform a variety of different movements, from fast and powerful movements to fine and subtle movements.

However, with aging, malnutrition, and hormonal changes, after the age of 30, the quality of skeletal muscle decreases by about 3% to 8% every ten years. This phenomenon is called sarcopenia, which can lead to reduced mobility and weakness , Cachexia, osteoporosis, metabolic syndrome


  1. Whey protein is beneficial to vascular endothelial function

Arterial endothelial cell dysfunction (endothelial cell dysfunction) is the basis of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease

Flow-mediated dilation (Flow-mediated dilation, FMD) is a marker for evaluating vascular endothelial function. It is currently the most widely used non-invasive detection method, reflecting the influence of multiple mechanisms, including: vascular tone regulation, cellular Proliferation and inflammation.


  1. Whey protein assists cancer treatment

Malnutrition is a common comorbidity in cancer patients, which increases the risk of infection, delays wound healing, increases treatment toxicity, prolongs hospital stay and increases health-related costs

It is reported that 51.1% of cancer patients have nutritional disorders, and 64% of patients have lost weight 6 months after diagnosis. This is related to weight loss, muscle atrophy, cachexia, treatment-related complications, or both caused by tumor metabolism.


  1. Whey protein promotes recovery of muscle function after exercise

Exercise-induced muscle fatigue (Exercise-induced muscle fatigue) is defined as the ability to generate appropriate muscle strength or strength during continuous contraction activities. It can occur shortly after the start of exercise (acute muscle fatigue) or it can occur continuously After a long period of high-intensity exercise (delayed exercise induces fatigue)

The degree may vary depending on the cause or underlying mechanism, and the speed of recovery also varies. It can last for a few minutes, a few hours, or even a few days.


  1. Whey protein is good for diabetes blood sugar control

Type 2 diabetes is a chronic, progressive disease that causes high blood sugar due to the imbalance between the body’s demand for insulin and its ability to produce insulin

The first step in the deterioration of blood glucose metabolism is the loss of postprandial blood glucose control, which then develops into morning hyperglycemia, and eventually progresses to nocturnal hyperglycemia

Postprandial blood glucose control is not only important for regulating blood sugar, but also an independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease, stroke, retinopathy, renal failure and neurological complications


  1. Whey protein suppresses appetite

With the increasing prevalence of obesity and metabolic disorders, the obesity and metabolic effects of specific micro- and macro-nutrients have received a lot of attention

In particular, dietary protein has been extensively studied in recent years, and more and more evidence shows that dietary energy rich in protein intake helps to lose weight and prevent weight gain.

The beneficial effects of high protein intake may be related to the diet-induced thermogenesis of


  1. Whey protein reduces inflammation indicators (C-reactive protein)

C-reactive protein (C-reactive protein) is currently the most widely studied biomarker of acute inflammation, mainly synthesized by hepatocytes, but also synthesized by smooth muscle cells, macrophages, endothelial cells, lymphocytes and adipocytes

The average level of CRP in healthy people is about 0.8 mg/L. There are many factors that can change the level of CRP, including age, gender, smoking status, obesity, rheumatoid arthritis, cardiovascular disease and diabetes, especially infection or inflammation. Increase up to 1000 times

A meta-analysis of the literature (including 9 randomized controlled trials) pointed out that the intake of whey protein and related derivatives has a slightly lower C-reactive protein effect, but the magnitude is not statistically significant. Note 6

Subgroup analysis further found that the C-reactive protein reduction effect of whey was most significant in subjects with daily whey dose ≥20 g and baseline CRP ≥3 mg/L


  1. Whey protein is good for weight loss or weight maintenance

Obesity is mainly defined as abnormal or excessive fat accumulation in adipose tissue (BMI greater than 30 kg/m2), which has an impact on health

Diseases directly related to obesity include: type 2 diabetes, hypertension, stroke, coronary heart disease, gout, sleep apnea, gastroesophageal reflux disease, osteoarthritis, infertility, gallbladder disease and cancer (endometrial Cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer, colon cancer)

A meta-analysis of the literature (including 14 randomized controlled trials with a total of 626 adult participants) pointed out that whey protein intake, whether as a supplement combined with resistance exercise or as part of a diet for weight loss or weight maintenance, Helps to improve body composition parameters (including body weight, body fat, and lean body weight). Note 7

The underlying mechanism may be related to the regulation of satiety hormones, changes in liver gluconeogenesis, and food-induced thermogenesis

*Conclusion: Whether combined with resistance training or as part of a weight loss diet, whey protein can help improve body composition parameters, but due to the possible publication bias and heterogeneity of the included studies, more studies are still needed to support it


  1. Whey protein can lower blood fat (triglycerides)

It is estimated that by 2030, nearly 44% of the U.S. population will suffer from more than one cardiovascular disease.

Hyperlipidemia is currently known as the main cardiovascular pathogenic factor. It is regarded as one of the top ten most costly medical events in the United States (about hundreds of billions of dollars in medical costs per year). Without proper treatment, it will take a long time. Silent killer, slowly eroding health

A literature meta-analysis (Meta-analysis, including 13 randomized controlled studies) pointed out that whey protein supplementation can help reduce triglyceride levels (range up to 0.11 mmol/L), but for total cholesterol/low-density or high-density Density lipoprotein cholesterol has no obvious improvement effect. Note 13

In addition, subgroup analysis showed that the triglyceride-lowering effect of whey protein is not obvious for the following subjects, such as: participants with low body mass index, low supplementary whey dosage or sports training/energy restriction

The underlying mechanism may be related to the components in whey (beta-lactoglobulin, sphingolipids) that regulate gene expression and reduce intestinal lipid absorption.

*Conclusion: Whey protein may have the effect of regulating some blood lipid indexes, but it is limited by the small number of samples, and more research is needed to prove it


3 kinds of health foods to assist in lowering blood lipids (the first kind is most inquired)


Are there any side effects of whey protein?

For most people in good health, it is safe to use whey protein at an appropriate dose, but the possible side effects or adverse reactions that have been reported are: increased bowel movements, decreased appetite, fatigue, headache, nausea, thirst, Abdominal distension, stomach cramps, etc. (especially under high-dose conditions)


Safety precautions (use taboo at 12 o’clock)

  1. Do not use for pregnant women and breastfeeding women (because the relevant safety is unknown)
  2. Most gastrointestinal-related side effects (abdominal bloating, gas, stomach cramps and diarrhea) are mostly related to lactose intolerance. If you have such symptoms, you can switch to isolated or hydrolysate whey protein products, or , Try non-dairy protein powders such as soy, peas, eggs, rice or hemp protein.
  3. People who have been allergic to milk should not use it. It may induce allergic reactions. Related symptoms may include red rash, tongue swelling, runny nose, nasal congestion, skin rash, swelling of the face or throat, and anaphylactic shock.
  4. For the healthy population, there is no evidence that too much protein will damage liver and kidney function, but for those with poor liver and kidney function, it is best to confirm with a doctor before use. Note 10-Note 11
  5. There have been reports that too much protein will lead to the loss of calcium from bones and increase the risk of osteoporosis, but as of now, there is no evidence that eating too much protein is harmful to bone health. On the contrary, intake of protein is positive for bone health. help. Note 8
  6. High-protein diet (daily intake>2.0 g/kg) will lower urine pH and increase the risk of uric acid stones. Therefore, it is recommended not to exceed the recommended daily protein intake (0.8 to 1.4 g/kg). Note 9
  7. May induce the formation of acne, this is due to the growth factors contained in whey protein: TGF, IGF-I, PDGF, FGF-1 will increase the production of sebum, which is considered to be related to the growth of acne (acne). Note 12
  8. Do not use with Parkinson’s disease drugs: Levodopa (Levodopa) may reduce the effectiveness of the drug
  9. Do not use with osteoporosis drugs: Alendronate may reduce the effectiveness of the drug
  10. Do not use in combination with Quinolone antibiotics and Tetracycline antibiotics, which may reduce the efficacy of the drug. Common drug names are: ciprofloxacin (ciprofloxacin), enoxacin (enoxacin), norfloxacin ( Norfloxacin, sparfloxacin, trovafloxacin, grapafloxacin, Demeclocycline, minocycline, tetracycline
  11. Do not use in combination with Tetracycline antibiotics, which may reduce the efficacy of the drug. Common drug names are: Demeclocycline, minocycline, tetracycline
  12. Do not use with Albendazole, which may reduce the efficacy of the drug



How to drink whey protein? What is the dose?

The usual recommended dosage of whey protein is 1-2 scoops (25-50 grams) per day, but the exact dosage depends on personal goals, lifestyle, body composition, and protein content in the diet.

The average daily protein intake for men is about 56 to 91 grams, while women should consume 46 to 75 grams per day

If you are an athlete or a highly active person and your goal is to maintain lean muscle mass while losing body fat, the recommended daily protein intake is about 1.5 to 2.2g/kg

The best time to use whey protein is in the morning, at breakfast, and after exercise. Ingesting whey protein 30 minutes after exercise can help muscle recovery


When is the best time to consume protein?

The best time to take protein supplements depends on whether you want to lose weight, build and maintain muscles, and improve athletic performance and recovery.

More importantly, taking it at the right time can further show that you are achieving your goals.

The following is the best time to take protein according to your specific goals.

Weight loss: A protein-rich snack between meals is ideal for weight loss. It may help curb hunger and allow you to consume fewer calories in your next meal.

Build muscle: Fitness enthusiasts often recommend taking protein supplements 15 to 60 minutes after exercise, but it is currently believed that as long as the intake of protein within two hours after exercise is an ideal choice

Prevent muscle loss: Studies have shown that every ten years after the age of 30, muscle mass will be reduced by about 3% to 8%. In order to prevent muscle loss, you should consume 25 to 30 grams of protein per meal.

The main types of whey protein: (divided into the following three)

Most of the Whey Proteins currently on the market are divided into the following three types, but there are also three formulas that are mixed to facilitate consumers’ choice

  1. Whey Protein Concentrate: WPC is the cheapest and most common form and contains a small amount of fat. Lactose and carbohydrates, while the protein content is generally from 30% to 90% (depending on the degree of concentration).
  1. Whey Protein Isolate (Whey Protein Isolate): As its name suggests, WPI is further processed to remove fat and lactose. It contains at least 90% protein and is more expensive.
  1. Whey Protein Hydrolysate (Whey Protein Hydrolysate): WPH is a hydrolysis technology that mimics the digestion of proteins in the body. It partially hydrolyzes the protein to achieve the purpose of pre-digestion, reducing possible protein allergies, so the body does not need to use too much digestion power to break it down. , It is often used as a protein supplement for medical purposes and added to infant milk powder