The Right Whey Protein

Whey is a derivative of milk, produced as a watery, sidestream product during the manufacturing of cheese. Cheese consists primarily of milk curd, which is a soft gel formed when casein, the most abundant protein in cow’s milk, reacts with lactic acid converted from lactose (milk sugar) by microorganisms in the milk.

Milk curd contains most of the milk fat, some whey and many other water-insoluble substances. Fresh liquid whey is mostly water and lactose.

In its original and raw form, fresh whole whey has a similar effect on the digestive tract to that of yogurt, and is regarded as a natural cleanser and remedy for many intestinal complaints. I first read about whey as a health food in Dr. Paavo Airola’s 1971 classic book Are You Confused? Airola describes whey as a national food in Sweden where it is traditionally used to prevent internal sluggishness, gas, bowel putrefaction and constipation.

But there is something even more special about whey, especially for athletes and those of us committed to the active lifestyle. Whey contains an extensive range of remarkable proteins called "whey peptides" which provide the highest quality source of protein known — higher than eggs, fish, turkey, beef or soy. Whey protein is also "cleaner" than commercial animal proteins, less susceptible to oxidant and free radical conversion and carries virtually no risk of parasite, pathogen or infective microorganism exposure.

Cooking Denatures Protein

Cooking reduces the biological value of protein. Exposure to high-heat ruptures the bonds that hold peptides together causing a cross-linking effect. Few of us eat wild, raw animal protein, which is actually alkaline forming, high in bioactive micronutrient and enzyme value and conducive to adrenal function, general survival and good health. Protein is our only source of essential amino acids and nitrogen, and therefore its rate and percentage of absorption and utilization is enormously important to health and fitness. Nitrogen is critical to tissue growth, wound healing and the formation of creatine, niacin, B12 and even our genetic hardware. In essence, human cells function as mini-protein factories.

Only 0.6% of whey is protein, which means it takes approximately 229 litres of milk to produce one kilogram (1000mg) of concentrated, high-quality whey protein. The trick is to extract the fullest and most complete spectrum of peptides possible without damaging their structure or affecting their health enhancing properties. That means no heat, no chemicals and starting with the highest grade of whey available (preferably Canadian whey).

Whey Peptides

Whey peptides are comprised of two or more amino acids linked together in sequence, like the pearls of a necklace. Each pearl represents a single amino acid, such as tryptophan or leucine. When two amino acids are connected to each other they become a peptide. A dipeptide is defined as two amino acids joined together by a peptide (disulfide) bond. Carnosine is a dipeptide consisting of alanine and threonine. Three amino acids joined together form a tripeptide, such as glutathione (cysteine-glutamate-glycine). Polypeptides are formed by an indefinite number of amino acids. Human growth hormone (hGH) is a polypeptide hormone consisting of 191 amino acids.

Whey peptides vary in size, molecular weight and function. For instance, beta-lactoglobin, which is a medium weight whey peptide, is recognized as one of nature’s best sources of branched-chain amino acids. The branched-chain amino acids or BCAAs, protect against muscle loss when dieting and supply extra energy for strenuous workouts. Many athletes use whey protein exclusively for BCAAs, as they also spare muscle proteins depleted through high-volume and high-intensity training. BCAAs help keep your anabolic drive alive.

Another newly discovered whey peptide of low molecular weight, is called glycomacropeptide (GMP). This peptide is known to suppress appetite, reduce blood stickiness, function as an antibacterial and even reduce tartar adhesion in teeth! GMP also contains a very unique compound called sialic acid, which acts like an anchor in the GI tract to neutralize common viral infectants. Other important whey peptides include lactalbumin, lactoferrin, bovine serum albumin (BSA), immunoglobulins, lactoperoxidase, peptones and lactophan.

Extraction & Filtration Methods

The best whey proteins are derived from ultra-high quality whey protein concentrate (WPC), which is created after whole whey has been dried and filtered to remove most of its lactose, minerals and fat. The next step involves the technology of enzyme hydrolysis and several extraction and special filtration methods, including cross-flow ultrafiltration, microfiltration, ion-exchange, nanofiltration, diafiltration and reverse osmosis.

Each particular method of extraction is crucial to the performance and activity of each specific whey peptide, which explains why none of these advanced extraction methods is necessarily superior to the other. For example, ion-exchanged whey protein is rich in high molecular weight immunoglobulins and whey growth factor extract (WGFE) but the process produces virtually no bioactive GMPs. Ion-exchanged whey protein is also high in sodium and requires additional filtration to improve its protein concentration. Crossflow membrane ultrafiltration is best for GMP production and retains a higher proportion of calcium, but it reduces bovine serum albumin (BSA) which is known to boost immune function by increasing glutathione.

Combining several extraction methods is actually the best "whey" to go as such a blend will result in a highly functional, proprietary supreme blend. But a product derived from only one method such as cross-flow ultrafiltration still has outstanding application. The biological values of various filtration and extraction methods will be similar but the functional properties of each product will relate to their peptide displacement and concentration. Lactose and milk fat may also vary per serving. Engineered whey protein isn’t cheap and expect to pay even more for a supreme blend. Combining different extraction methods costs more to manufacture and the taste and texture of the end product is difficult to attend.

Choose a good name brand when selecting a whey protein. Buy from a company who has earned a reputation for quality and maintains a manufacturing environment which complies with Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) in Canada. Quality control is enormously important, as whey proteins are classified as foods in Canada and seldom undergo extensive analytical testing to verify their contents, biological value, whey peptide percentage and label claims.

Cory’s Secret Recipe For Health

Whey peptides are clearly established as one of the best single choices when selecting a protein supplement for yourself or your family. They deliver muscle-building nitrogen faster, and when stacked into a healthy diet, they provide multiple health benefits that everyone can enjoy, regardless of age. Add one or two scoops of whey protein isolate to 1 cup of filtered water and combine with two T. hemp seed oil and your favorite fresh fruit, such as papaya, kiwi, pineapple, banana or frozen berries. If you want to spice it up with more power or prevent exhaustion, add 5 grams each of creatine monohydrate, ribose and L-glutamine. Use bodyweight and activity level as a guiding force to determine appropriate amounts. Now you’ve got my secret recipe for health and vibrant living — don’t underestimate it!

Protein Comparison Chart

Food (100gm) Protein Fat Carbs Fat % (Calories) *BV
Whey Peptides 88gm 1gm 5gm 2% **110-159
Chicken Breast 31gm 5gm 0gm 23% 79
Venison 30gm 3gm 0gm 18% 80
Tuna (water) 30gm 0.5gm 0gm 4% 83
Bacon 30gm 49gm 0gm 79% 82
Swiss Cheese 29gm 28gm 4gm 66% 84
Lamb (leg) 28gm 7gm 0gm 36% 80
Halibut 27gm 3gm 0gm 20% 83
Ground Beef (lean) 25gm 18gm 0gm 62% 80
Beef Liver 24gm 5gm 4gm 27% 82
Beef Pepperoni 22gm 44gm 0gm 82% 80
Salmon Pink 20gm 6gm 0gm 40% 83
Mozzarella Cheese 20gm 22gm 4gm 67% 84
Sirloin Steak 18gm 20gm 0gm 71% 80
Peanuts (dry roast) 18gm 52gm 25gm 72% 68
Soybeans 17gm 9gm 10gm 43% 74
Sesame Seeds 17gm 49gm 25gm 72% 70
Almonds 16gm 52gm 25gm 74% 66
Beef Salami 15gm 21gm 4gm 71% 80
Cottage Cheese 14gm 2gm 4gm 20% 84
Pork Chop 13gm 19gm 0gm 77% 82
Egg (whole) 12gm 11gm 0gm 67% 100
Egg (white) 10gm 0gm 0gm 0% 88
Lentils 9gm 0.4gm 20gm 3% 68
Yogurt (skim) 4gm 1gm 6gm 18% 88
Alfalfa Sprouts 4gm 0.6gm 3gm 16% 58
Millet 4gm 1gm 24gm 7% 62
Oatmeal 3gm 0.2gm 11gm 3% 58
Milk (whole) 3gm 3gm 5gm 46% 91
Milk (skim) 3gm 0.2gm 7gm 4% 91
Broccoli 3gm 0.3gm 5gm 8% 60
Spinach 3gm 0.2gm 3gm 7% 60
Baked Potato 2gm 1gm 25gm 8% 60
Brown Rice 2gm 0.8gm 23gm 7% 59
Yam 1gm 0.8gm 28gm 1% 62

*BV (Biological Valve) refers to the amount of protein (nitrogen) retained in the body per gram of protein absorbed.

**Colgan, Michael PhD, The Right Protein for Muscle and Strength (1998) Progressive Health Series Colgan Institute, pg. 20 Biological Value of Proteins

Protein (which means "to come first") is essential, as it supplies the body with amino acids and our only source of nitrogen (16%). High temperature denatures protein and reduces its biological value. This can adversely affect tissue repair and wound healing, and potentially compromise enzyme activity, immune function, hormone production and neuropeptide transmission.

Consuming low-quality damaged protein (luncheon meats, canned fish, fried hamburger) can reduce both performance and life expectancy by increasing free radical production in the body. Due to sophisticated extraction and special filtration methods, which do not employ any heat, chemicals or toxic solvents, Sisu Body Elite Whey Protein Isolate is non-denatured, contaminant-free and extremely soluble.

As always, stay well and live free!...Dr.C