Whey is one of the two proteins found in milk, the one other being casein. Whey is produced in the process of cheesemaking. It is the watery part of milk, which separates from curd. Whey protein is a complete protein and has nine amino acids essential for overall health. It is very low in lactose content. It has been very effective in building muscles and losing weight. Apart from these, there are many other health benefits too.
Research from "International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism" supports the muscle-building benefit of whey protein. A lot of whey protein supplements containing various forms of whey proteins like isolates, concentrates, and hydrolysates are popular in the market. Whey protein isolates are the purest forms of whey proteins with the least fat and lactose, while hydrolysates supplements are predigested and are quickly absorbed by the body. Quick absorption of proteins is necessary to help in muscle building.
In people engaged in body building, whey protein supplements help in developing lean mass, reduce fat, and increase muscle strength. Some studies have proven whey protein to be effective in cancer patients and asthmatics and that it is also helpful for reducing weight and for cholesterol.
Whey protein contains many components like immunoglobulin, beta lactoglobulin, alpha lactalbumin, and bovine serum albumin that are essential for complete health. Whey protein acts as antioxidant and saves the body against free-radical damage. In children, these supplements are able to raise the immunity and help in allergic conditions like eczema, asthma, atopic dermatitis, etc. People allergic to lactose tolerate the whey protein well. The "International Dairy Journal" recommends whey protein for hypertension and cardiovascular health, and to reduce the risk for stroke and other heart disorders. It is one of the best supplements and sources of energy for people who have lactose intolerance.
Generally, whey protein is well tolerated by people without causing any side effects; but, if large quantities are consumed, it may cause nausea, increased bowel movements, flatulence, cramps, fatigue, headache, etc. The only health conditions in which whey proteins should be avoided are pregnancy, lactation, gout, and kidney disorders. Whey protein supplements are generally well absorbed by the human digestive system. As a word of caution, it is always wise to consult the doctor before continuing whey protein supplements if you are taking some medication or other supplements.
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