Whey protein is a selected component of fresh milk that is isolated through a simple centrifugal process. To get large quantities that are commercial viable, whey protein is produced as a byproduct in cheese production. Whey protein is largely composed of pure protein. It is one of the two proteins in milk, with the other sister protein being casein. The benefits of whey protein are best utilized in the food supplement industries and are also the best body supplements. This is a multi-million dollar industry whose product finds utility in both developed and developing countries. Among the more affluent population, whey protein supplement are mostly preferred by body builders who are conscious of their shapes and weight. Where resources including food are limited, the whey protein supplement is used an immune booster or in management of malnourished persons.
A few users of whey protein supplement have reported experiencing allergic reactions. These are popularly referred to as whey protein side effects. These allergic reactions have in some cases been associated indiscriminately with the whey protein ingestion and metabolism. An understanding of the mechanisms by which whey protein side effects could occur is a first step towards informing a user of whey protein supplement.
Two byproducts of whey digestion and cellular metabolism are lactose and lactalbumin. Lactalbumin is a protein molecule that can further be broken down to amino acids. Metabolism of the peptides and amino acids lead to inhibition of the function of other peptides such as glutathione. Glutathione is a tripeptide that includes a sulphur bridge and long glutamate amino acid structure. Its structure is ideal as an anti-oxidant. Anti-oxidants are the free radical sinks and protect the cell membranes from damage. Glutathione also serves as an anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory substance. The suspected whey protein side effects are also dependant on other health status indices of an individual. Where an individual feeds on adequate alternative sources of anti-oxidant such as vitamin C and vitamin E, the chances of side effects are significantly reduced from whey protein side effects.
Although whey protein is suspected of causing the side effects, its sister protein casein is a major cause of the allergic reaction. A purer whey protein achieved all the way through thorough separation procedures would have minimal whey protein side effects.
The health benefits of whey protein also far outweigh the limited side effects. Moreover, whey protein side effects can be significantly reduced by purification and increased uptake of anti-oxidants.