Frank Salvatore
Health and Lifestyle

How Whey Protein Factors into Your Health

August 1, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Whey protein is derived from the liquid material that is a by-product of cheese and milk production. Commonly marketed as a dietary supplement, whey protein has been boasting various health claims since as early as 420 B.C. Today, whey protein can be linked to several health benefits such as immune system support, weight control, and blood pressure maintenance.

Benefits of Whey Protein

In addition to providing your body with all of the necessary amino acids, high-quality whey protein also contains three essential ingredients: leucine and conjugated linoleic acid (each aiding in weight loss) and glutathione, which protects cells from oxidative damage.

Leucine

While leucine is beneficial to the body in many ways, it especially builds muscle growth by signaling the body to increase protein synthesis. In order for this to happen, however, the body needs extremely high amounts of leucine, far more than what is available in a reasonable amount of whey protein. However, whey protein does contain much more leucine than other protein sources such as chicken and eggs.

Glutathione

The body?s most powerful antioxidant, glutathione, is abundant in whey. Glutathione is essential for eliminating free radicals in the body that are produced during the metabolic process. Free radicals can also result from radiation exposure, toxic exposure, and heavy metals. The body needs defenses, such as glutathione, to fight back against destructive free radicals. Glutathione is superior to other antioxidants because it is intracellular, meaning it has the ability to magnify the effects of other antioxidants that are consumed.

Glutathione also promotes healthy mitochondrial function, which is essential to the body?s use of energy, the detoxification process, disease prevention. Mitochondrial deficiency has been linked to health issues such as arthritis, asthma, muscle weakness, as well as diseases such as cancer, Alzheimer?s, Parkinson?s, autoimmune disease, and heart disease.

High quality whey protein is a great source of glutathione. It provides the amino acids that are needed for the production of glutathione, and contains a highly bioactive cysteine residue that aids in glutathione conversion.

Conjugated Linoleic Acid

Conjugated linoleic acid is a healthy omega-6 fatty acid that is found in grass-fed beef and dairy. CLA is a popular global weight loss supplement, by aiding people to reduce their intake of food, increase burning of fat, preserving muscle, and increasing the breakdown of body fat, while inhibiting its production.

The most important factor in for a food to contain CLA is that it is pasture-raised, due to the cow?s diet of grass rather than grains. While CLA is available as a supplement, foods that contain CLA naturally are far more effective, as the CLA has not been processed or altered.

Your Protein Intake

While the body can make proteins, many essential amino acids must be consumed through diet. Protein is in many foods, but complete proteins are not as common. It is important to get enough high quality protein to fuel the body. With age, the body loses its ability to process proteins, which leads to muscle loss.

Ideally, adults need half a gram of protein for each pound of lean body mass. This number increases by 25% for seniors, pregnant women and competition athletes.
Whey protein is often recommended to be the center of a high-protein diet to help ignite weight loss. While whey protein does decrease hunger and give metabolism a boost, it may not be the answer to weight loss that people are looking for.

There is growing evidence that including too much protein in your diet may promote the growth of cancerous cells. Protein-rich diets do not provide an ideal ratio of nutrients to be body, so while the body does benefit from whey protein, it is important to keep all foods in moderation.

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Frank Salvatore