Whey protein is the protein contained in whey, the watery portion of milk that separates from the curds when making cheese.
Whey protein is used for improving athletic performance, as a food supplement, as an alternative to milk for people with lactose intolerance, for replacing or supplementing milk-based infant formulas, and for reversing weight loss and increasing glutathione (GSH) in people with HIV disease.
Whey protein is also used for protein allergy, asthma, high cholesterol, obesity and weight loss, preventing allergies in infants, late-stage cancer, and colon cancer.
How does it work?
Whey protein is a source of protein that might improve the nutrient content of the diet. Whey protein might also have effects on the immune system.
Possibly Effective for:
- Use as an alternative to milk for people with lactose intolerance. Developing research suggests that infants who are given whey protein during the first 6 months of life have a lower risk of developing allergies (atopic disease) such as milk protein allergy.
- Late-stage cancer. There is some evidence that taking whey protein might help reduce tumor size in some people with cancer that has spread.
- High cholesterol.
- Other conditions.
Side Effects & Safety
Whey protein is LIKELY SAFE for most adults when used appropriately. High doses can cause some side effects such as increased bowel movements, nausea, thirst, bloating, cramps, reduced appetite, tiredness (fatigue), and headache.
Special Precautions & Warnings:Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Not enough is known about the use of whey protein during pregnancy and breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.
Milk allergy: If you are allergic to cow’s milk, avoid using whey protein.
Major Interaction Do not take this combination
- Levodopa interacts with WHEY PROTEIN
Whey protein might decrease how much levodopa the body absorbs. By decreasing how much levodopa the body absorbs, whey protein might decrease the effectiveness of levodopa. Do not take whey protein and levodopa at the same time.
Moderate Interaction Be cautious with this combination
- Alendronate (Fosamax) interacts with WHEY PROTEIN
Whey protein can decrease how much alendronate (Fosamax) the body absorbs. Taking whey protein and alendronate (Fosamax) at the same time can decrease the effectiveness of alendronate (Fosamax). Don't take whey protein within two hours of taking alendronate (Fosamax).
- Antibiotics (Quinolone antibiotics) interacts with WHEY PROTEIN
Whey protein might decrease how much antibiotic the body absorbs. Taking whey protein along with some antibiotics might decrease the effectiveness of some antibiotics. To avoid this interaction take whey protein supplements at least one hour after antibiotics.
Some of these antibiotics that might interact with whey protein include ciprofloxacin (Cipro), enoxacin (Penetrex), norfloxacin (Chibroxin, Noroxin), sparfloxacin (Zagam), trovafloxacin (Trovan), and grepafloxacin (Raxar).
- Antibiotics (Tetracycline antibiotics) interacts with WHEY PROTEIN
Whey protein contains calcium. The calcium in whey protein can attach to tetracyclines in the stomach. This decreases the amount of tetracyclines that can be absorbed. Taking calcium with tetracyclines might decrease the effectiveness of tetracyclines. To avoid this interaction take whey protein two hours before or four hours after taking tetracyclines.
Some tetracyclines include demeclocycline (Declomycin), minocycline (Minocin), and tetracycline (Achromycin).
The following doses have been studied in scientific research:
- For improving athletic performance: 1.2-1.5 grams/kg of whey protein in combination with strength training for 6-10 weeks.
- For HIV/AIDS-related weight loss: 8.4-84 grams of whey protein per day, or 2.4 grams/kg per day in a high-calorie formula, or 42-84 grams per day in a glutamine-enriched formula.