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What is whey protein? What are the benefits of whey protein?

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Milk is made of two proteins, casein and whey. Whey protein can be separated from the casein in milk or formed as a by-product of cheese making.

Whey protein is considered a complete protein and contains all 9 essential amino acids and is low in lactose content.

This Medical News Today information article includes information on the composition of whey protein, its use inmuscle building, and its potential health benefits. The article also explains some of the side effects associated with whey protein.

A study published in the journal Clinical and Investigative Medicine1 found that whey protein helps reduce weight loss among HIV-positive patients.

omposition and forms of whey protein

CompositionWhey protein is a mixture of the following:

Protein shake
Whey protein milkshake.
  • Beta-lactoglobulin
  • Alpha-lactalbumin
  • Bovine serum albumin
  • Immunoglobins

There are three primary types of whey protein : whey protein concentrate (WPC), whey protein isolate (WPI), and whey protein hydrolysate (WPH):

  • Whey protein concentrate - WPC contains low levels of fat and low levels of carbohydrates (lactose).

    The percentage of protein in WPC depends on how concentrated it is. Lower end concentrates tend to have 30% protein and higher end up to 90%.
  • Whey protein isolate - WPIs are further processed to remove all the fat and lactose. WPI is usually at least 90% protein.
  • Whey protein hydrolysate - WPH is considered to be the "predigested" form of whey protein as it has already undergone partial hydrolysis - a process necessary for the body to absorb protein.

    WPH doesn't require as much digestion as the other two forms of whey protein. In addition, it is commonly used in medical protein supplements and infant formulas because of it's improved digestibility and reduced allergen potential.

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