Vitamins, Minerals and Dietary Supplements
What is whey protein? Why do we need it?
Whey protein is a dairy-based source of amino acids. During
the process of making milk into cheese, whey protein is separated
from the milk, then incorporated back into a variety of food
Whether as an ingredient in foods or as a standalone
supplement, whey protein provides several branched-chain amino
acids, including leucine, isoleucine and valine, which are
needed for the maintenance of muscle tissue.
How much whey protein should I take?
Because whey protein is not classified as an essential nutrient,
no recommended daily allowances or requirements have been
established. The amino acids found in whey protein are also
available from other sources; therefore, a deficiency of the
amino acids found in whey protein is unlikely to occur.
What are some good sources of whey
protein? What forms are available?
Whey protein is found as an ingredient in many foods, including
ice cream, bread, canned soups and infant formulas. Many health
food markets and specialty stores also sell whey protein supplements,
either in capsule or powdered form.
What can happen if I don't get enough
whey protein? What can happen if I take too much? Are there
any side-effects I should be aware of?
Since the amino acids contained in whey protein are also
found in other food sources, a deficiency is not likely to
occur. As with any form of protein, excessive long-term use
may be associated with kidney dysfunction and possibly osteoporosis.
People who are lactose intolerant or allergic to dairy products
should avoid whey protein. As of this writing, there are no
known drug interactions associated with whey protein.
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