Natural Standard® Patient Monograph, Copyright © 2014 (www.naturalstandard.com). All Rights Reserved. Commercial distribution prohibited. This monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. You should consult with a qualified healthcare provider before making decisions about therapies and/or health conditions.

Background

Milk is made up of two major types of proteins, the casein class and the whey class.

Whey proteins contain higher levels of essential amino acids. They are used in ice cream, bread, soup, baby formula, and other food products.

Whey protein products can be processed in a number of ways. The finished products often have different levels of protein, sugars, minerals, and fat.

Whey protein is an easily digested source of protein. It is also a popular protein supplement for improving immune function and muscle strength. It is also used to help prevent heart disease, diabetes, and bone loss.

There is good evidence to support the use of whey protein for relieving allergy symptoms, reducing appetite, and providing protein. There is fairly good evidence to support its use for improving blood sugar levels, enhancing muscle mass and strength, and promoting weight loss. More research is needed to confirm these findings.

Dosing

The below doses are based on scientific research, publications, traditional use, or expert opinion. Many herbs and supplements have not been thoroughly tested, and safety and effectiveness may not be proven. Brands may be made differently, with variable ingredients, even within the same brand. The below doses may not apply to all products. You should read product labels, and discuss doses with a qualified healthcare provider before starting therapy.

Adults (18 years and older)

Daily doses of 20-30 grams of whey protein have been used, without exceeding 1.2 grams per kilogram of body weight. A whey-containing protein shake after workouts has been used.

For reducing appetite, whey protein has been taken by mouth in single doses, doses of up to 60 grams, or 0.5 grams per kilogram of body weight in the form of Fonterra WPI 894 or BiPRO®. Whey protein has been added to yogurt as a single dose. Whey protein has been taken by mouth in the form of Lacprodan® DI-9213, containing 1,000 millijoules of energy.

For bone density, milk containing 30-40 milligrams of milk basic protein has been taken by mouth for 6-8 months. Doses of 30-60 milligrams of whey basic protein have been taken by mouth daily for 24 weeks. A dose of 250 milliliters of a skim milk-based drink containing 30 grams of whey protein has been taken by mouth daily for two years.

For bronchospasm (abnormal lung muscle contraction), 30 grams of denatured whey protein has been taken by mouth daily for eight weeks.

For cancer, 30 grams of whey protein has been taken by mouth daily for six months.

For heart disease risk, up to 60 grams of whey protein has been taken by mouth 1-2 times daily for 4-36 weeks. A dose of 45 grams of whey protein isolate has been taken by mouth as a single dose at breakfast. Milkshakes containing 45 grams of whey isolate (Lacprodan®-DI-9224) or whey hydrolysate (Lacprodan®-DI-3065) have been taken by mouth as single doses. A single dose of 5 grams of a whey-derived peptide (NOP-47) has been taken by mouth daily. Up to 15 grams of malleable protein matrix (Wheygurte™) has been taken by mouth twice daily for three months.

For chronic lung conditions, 12 grams of whey protein has been taken by mouth twice daily for six weeks. A dose of 20 grams of pressurized whey in 120 milliliters of applesauce has been taken by mouth for 16 weeks.

For cystic fibrosis (mucus build-up in the lungs), whey in applesauce has been taken by mouth in a dose of 40 grams daily for 28 days. A dose of 10 grams of whey protein isolate (ImmunocalTM) has been taken by mouth twice daily for three months.

For dehydration, a drink containing 15 grams per liter of Impact whey protein has been taken by mouth over one hour as a single dose.

For diabetes, whey protein has been taken by mouth as a single dose in the following forms and doses: 45-55 grams, taken alone or added to soup or a potato, and single doses added to meals or drinks. Doses of 5-10 grams of glycemic index-lowering peptide fraction (GILP) from whey as a single dose have been taken by mouth. Whey protein has been taken by mouth in the form of Peptamen®.

For improving phosphate levels in people undergoing dialysis, 30 grams of a low-phosphate and low-potassium whey protein concentrate have been taken by mouth daily for three months.

For improved muscle strength, whey protein has been taken by mouth in the following doses and/or forms: up to 45 grams mixed with Gatorade®, three times weekly for up to 14 weeks; 1.2 grams per kilogram alone or mixed with sucrose powder, daily for six weeks; 30 grams in sachets mixed with food or drinks, twice daily for 36 weeks; 1.5 grams per kilogram of hydrolyzed whey isolate daily for 10 weeks; 33 grams as part of a protein bar, daily for nine weeks; 1.5 grams per kilogram immediately after exercise and four times daily for 14 days; 15 grams before and after exercise for 21 weeks; 1.0 gram per kilogram of whey protein powder daily for 14 weeks; and a dairy supplement containing whey protein, twice daily for eight weeks.

For exercise performance and recovery, whey protein has been taken by mouth in the following doses and/or forms: single doses of 2 percent whey hydrolysate in a test drink or 25 grams in flavored water; 0.4 grams per kilogram hourly with sucrose; 44 grams of orange-flavored Maximuscle Promax™ in divided doses before and after exercise, then twice daily for three days; 42 grams before and after exercise; 1.2-1.5 grams per kg daily with strength training.

For hearing loss, an undenatured whey protein supplement rich in glutathione has been taken by mouth.

For H. pylori infection, 2.5 grams of immune whey protein concentrate (WPC-80) has been taken by mouth three times daily for 28 days.

For liver inflammation, 20 grams of undenatured cysteine-rich whey protein isolate has been taken by mouth in two divided doses mixed with water, daily for 12 weeks. A dose of 12 grams of whey protein added to mousse has been taken by mouth twice daily for 12 weeks.

For HIV, the following doses and/or forms of whey protein have been taken by mouth: 40-45 grams 1-2 times daily for 2-12 weeks; 8.4 grams of Immunocal™ daily for four weeks, then 19.6 grams daily for four weeks, then 28 grams daily for one week, and finally 39.2 grams daily for three weeks; 8.4-84 grams of whey protein daily; 2.4 grams per kilogram daily in a high-calorie formula; and 42-84 grams daily in a glutamine-enriched formula.

For high blood pressure, 125-250 milliliters of drinks supplemented with whey peptides or whey protein (Alacen®) have been taken by mouth daily for 12 weeks to two years. A dose of 20 grams of hydrolyzed whey protein or unmodified whey protein has been taken by mouth daily for six weeks.

For immune function, 5 grams of whey protein has been taken by mouth three times daily for eight weeks.

For nutrition (protein source), 0.8 grams per kilogram of protein (with 50 percent being whey protein) has been taken by mouth daily for 15 days. Up to 15 grams of whey protein has been taken by mouth as a single dose. Doses of 0.3 grams per kilogram of whey protein to 0.48 grams of casein have been taken by mouth as a single dose.

For psoriasis, 5 grams of XP-828L whey protein extract has been taken by mouth daily for 56 days.

For weight loss, the following forms and/or doses of whey protein have been taken by mouth: Prolibra™ for 12 weeks; 240 kilocalories daily for two months; 25 grams twice daily for 12 weeks; 1 liter of a milk-based whey drink, daily for 12 weeks; 51-52 gram packets containing 27.5 grams of a cheese-derived whey protein supplement (whey protein concentrate-80), twice daily for 23 weeks; and Designer Whey® for eight weeks.

For dental plaque, whey protein toothpaste and tooth powder (0-20 percent) have been used for eight weeks.

Children (under 18 years old)

For allergies, 10 grams of whey protein (HMS90™) have been taken by mouth twice daily for one month. Formulas containing hydrolyzed whey proteins have been taken by mouth for the first four months in infants.

For reducing appetite, 1 gram per kilogram or up to 50 grams of whey protein have been taken by mouth as a single dose.

For burns, diets supplemented with ultrafiltered whey protein have been taken by mouth.

For cerebral palsy, 2.8 grams per 100 milliliters of hydrolyzed whey protein has been taken by mouth as a single meal via feeding pump.

For cystic fibrosis, 20 grams of pressurized whey in applesauce has been taken by mouth for 28 days. A dose of 10 grams of whey protein has been taken by mouth twice daily for three months.

For eczema, partially or extensively hydrolyzed whey infant formulas have been taken by mouth.

For HIV, whey protein has been taken by mouth once or twice daily for four months, with the first dose representing 20 percent of the total daily protein requirement, increasing by 10 percent each month over three months, until forming 50 percent of the total daily protein requirement.

For mitochondrial diseases, 10 grams of ProtherSOD® have been taken by mouth daily for 60 days.

For infection, 0.3 grams per kilogram of Beneprotein® have been injected into the vein every morning for up to 28 days.

Evidence

These uses have been tested in humans or animals.  Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven.  Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider.

Key to grades

A
Strong scientific evidence for this use
B
Good scientific evidence for this use
C
Unclear scientific evidence for this use
D
Fair scientific evidence against this use (it may not work)
F
Strong scientific evidence against this use (it likely does not work)

Grading rationale

Evidence gradeCondition to which grade level applies
A

Allergies (prevention)

A whey formula has been studied for allergic skin symptoms in children receiving a diet containing very few foods. Whey protein formulas may help reduce the risk of cow's milk allergy, and may be more cost-effective when compared to standard formula for preventing allergies in infants. However, strong evidence is lacking for the use of whey protein formula for reducing skin allergies in infants up to three years of age. There is a lack of research on the effect of whey protein itself for reduced allergy risk in this population.
A

Nutrition (protein source)

Whey protein has been studied for maintaining skeletal muscle mass. Studies suggest that whey protein may benefit older people and women after exercise.In healthy young men, whey protein increased blood levels of essential amino acids and the creation of muscle protein. Whey protein is considered by experts to be an excellent source of protein.
B

Appetite suppressant

Whey protein has been studied for regulating appetite and body weight, and is considered an inexpensive source of protein. It may reduce short-term food intake and may also reduce risk factors for heart disease associated with obesity. These factors include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and blood sugar and insulin levels. Most studies suggest that whey protein increases feelings of fullness and reduces food intake. However, some results are conflicting, and more research is needed before firm conclusions can be made.
B

Diabetes

Many protein sources have been studied for their possible impact on blood sugar and insulin. Whey protein has been found to reduce blood sugar in both healthy people and those with type 2 diabetes. Further research is needed to determine potential interactions with medications and long-term effects of whey protein.
B

Muscle strength

Whey protein has been studied for promoting muscle growth and improving athletic performance. Taking whey protein after exercise may have benefits in both men and women, in terms of improving protein oxidation and blood levels of essential amino acids. Overall, short-term studies have suggested that whey protein increases muscle mass and strength. Some conflicting results have been found in terms of whey protein's effects on body composition. More research is needed to confirm these results over a longer period of time.
B

Weight loss

Whey protein has been studied for weight loss and the regulation of appetite. Studies have shown whey protein to be an inexpensive source of high-quality protein and that it may reduce short-term food intake. Overall results suggest that whey protein may promote better weight loss when compared to lower-protein diets, but results are unclear when whey protein is compared to other protein sources. Research is still needed to make firm conclusions in this area.
C

Acne

Limited study suggests that a product containing whey protein may improve symptoms of acne. Further study is needed before conclusions can be made.
C

Allergies (treatment)

Limited research suggests that whey protein may benefit people with allergic skin symptoms. Further study is needed before conclusions can be made.
C

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)

Limited study has found that a product containing whey protein may benefit people with ALS, a disorder of nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. Further study is needed before conclusions can be made.
C

Bone density

Whey protein has been studied for the improvement of bone density. However, results are conflicting and more research is needed before a conclusion can be made.
C

Bronchospasm (abnormal lung muscle contraction)

Based on limited study, a product containing whey protein may benefit people with bronchospasm. Further study is needed before conclusions can be made.
C

Burns

Limited research suggests that a product containing whey protein may have positive benefits for people with burns, including increased survival. Further study is needed before conclusions can be made.
C

Cancer

Limited research suggests that whey protein may have benefits for people with cancer. Further study is needed before conclusions can be made.
C

Cerebral palsy

Early research has found that whey protein may benefit children who have cerebral palsy, a disorder of the brain and nervous system. Further study is needed in this area.
C

Chronic lung conditions

Whey protein has been shown to improve lung function in people with chronic lung conditions. Further study is needed before conclusions can be made.
C

Constipation

Infant formula containing whey protein may benefit infants with constipation. Further study is needed.
C

Cystic fibrosis (mucus build-up in lungs)

Whey protein may have benefit in babies with cystic fibrosis. It may increase weight gain in people with cystic fibrosis. More research is needed in this area.
C

Dehydration

Milk protein, including whey, has been studied for improving fluid balance after exercise. Early research suggests that a whey protein drink may lack an effect on fluid levels after exercise when compared to a placebo drink. Further research is needed before any firm conclusions can be made.
C

Dental plaque

Based on limited study, a toothpaste product containing whey protein may have positive benefits for people with dental plaque. Further study is needed before conclusions can be made.
C

Dialysis (a treatment for kidney dysfunction)

Based on limited study, a whey protein product may help improve phosphate levels in people undergoing dialysis. Further study is needed in this area.
C

Diarrhea

Whey protein may help prevent diarrhea caused by bacterial infection. A whey protein concentrate made from cow's milk has been found to be safe for use as a medical food in people with bacterial diarrhea. More research is needed in this area.
C

Eczema (skin inflammation and swelling)

Infant formula containing whey protein may have benefit in babies at risk for eczema. Further study is needed before conclusions can be made.
C

Exercise performance (and recovery)

Whey protein has been studied for increasing exercise performance and promoting recovery. Further study is needed before conclusions can be made.
C

Fatigue (in spinal injury)

A product containing whey protein may benefit people with fatigue due to spinal injury. Further study is needed before conclusions can be made.
C

Gastrointestinal reflux disease (acid reflux)

A whey protein product has been studied in people with acid flux disease associated with nervous system impairment. Further study is needed before conclusions can be made.
C

Growth

Milk has been suggested to have benefit for growth in children. Early research suggests that whey formula lacks an effect when compared to cow's milk and breast milk. Further research in this area is needed before any firm conclusions can be made.
C

Hearing loss

Based on limited study, a product containing whey protein may lack benefit in people with hearing loss. Further study is needed to confirm these findings.
C

Heart disease prevention

Whey protein has been studied for reducing risk factors associated with heart disease. It has been found to lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels. However, evidence is lacking for improved blood vessel function. Further research is needed before conclusions can be made.
C

Immune function

Whey protein has been studied in critically ill children for the improvement of immune function. More research is needed before firm conclusions can be made on the use of whey protein for this purpose.
C

Infection

Early research in children suggests that whey protein may lack an effect on infection when compared to other treatments. Further research in this area is needed before any firm conclusions can be made.
C

Liver inflammation

Although not well studied in humans, early research suggests that whey protein may protect the liver and prevent liver inflammation. Further research is needed before firm conclusions can be made.
C

Mental performance

A product containing whey product may improve mental performance and memory. Further study is needed before conclusions can be made.
C

Mitochondrial diseases

Based on early study, whey protein may benefit people with mitochondrial diseases, which are caused by damage to the energy-producing parts of cells. Further study is needed.
C

Myoclonic disorders (sudden, uncontrolled muscle jerks)

Early research suggests that whey protein may lack an effect on myoclonic disorders. However, due to the lack of research in this area, further high-quality study is needed before any firm conclusions can be made.
C

Psoriasis (chronic skin redness and irritation)

Early study suggests that whey protein extract may help reduce symptoms of psoriasis. Further research on the effects of whey protein alone is needed before conclusions can be made.
C

Stomach disorders (short gut syndrome)

A product containing whey protein may have benefit in people with short gut syndrome, in which nutrients are not properly absorbed due to a missing part of the small intestine. Further study is needed before conclusions can be made.
C

Stress

Whey protein may help reduce stress, according to early research in humans. Further study on whey protein is needed before conclusions can be made.
F

H. pylori infection

Whey protein has been studied for the treatment of H. pylori infection, which causes stomach symptoms such as nausea and bloating. Early studies suggest that it lacks an effect when used for this purpose. More research is needed.
F

High blood pressure

Although early studies suggested that whey protein may help reduce blood pressure in people with high blood pressure, higher quality research suggests a lack of effect. More research is needed.

Uses based on tradition or theory

The below uses are based on tradition or scientific theories. They often have not been thoroughly tested in humans, and safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider.

Adrenal gland stimulation, aging, alertness, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antioxidant, antitoxin, antiviral, asthma, blood vessel clots, breast feeding, cavities, colds/flu, diarrhea (HIV), fertility, food uses, heavy metal/lead toxicity, kidney stones, lactose intolerance, liver protection, low blood pressure (after meals in the elderly), mood, osteoporosis, pain relief, parasites, peritoneal dialysis (treatment for severe kidney disease), phenylketonuria (inability to break down amino acid phenylalanine), rickets (softening and weakening of bones), seizures, skin conditions, sleep, stroke, tuberculosis, vaccine adjunct (treatment used together with vaccine), weight gain, wound healing.

Interactions

Interactions with Drugs

Whey protein may lower blood sugar levels. Caution is advised when using medications that may also lower blood sugar. People taking drugs for diabetes by mouth or insulin should be monitored closely by a qualified healthcare professional, including a pharmacist. Medication adjustments may be necessary.

Whey protein may cause low blood pressure. Caution is advised in people taking drugs that lower blood pressure.

Whey protein may increase the risk of bleeding when taken with drugs that increase the risk of bleeding. Some examples include aspirin, anticoagulants ("blood thinners") such as warfarin (Coumadin®) or heparin, anti-platelet drugs such as clopidogrel (Plavix®), and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen (Motrin®, Advil®) or naproxen (Naprosyn®, Aleve®).

Whey protein may interfere with the way the body processes certain drugs using the liver's "cytochrome P450" enzyme system. As a result, the levels of these drugs may be altered in the blood, and may cause altered effects or potentially serious adverse reactions. People using any medications should check the package insert, and speak with a qualified healthcare professional, including a pharmacist, about possible interactions.

Whey protein may also interact with agents that affect appetite, agents that affect blood vessel width, agents that affect the immune system, agents that promote breast milk, agents that treat abnormal heart rhythms, agents that treat parasites or worms, albendazole, alcohol, alendronate, anti-allergy agents, antibiotics, anticancer agents, anti-inflammatory agents, antiulcer agents, antiviral agents, bone agents, cholesterol-lowering agents, dental agents, fertility agents, heart agents, hormonal agents, indomethacin, iron salts, kidney agents, levodopa, liver agents, lung agents, mood-altering agents, musculoskeletal agents, nervous system agents, pain relievers, performance enhancement agents, skin agents, stomach and intestine agents, weight loss agents, and wound-healing agents.

Interactions with Herbs and Dietary Supplements

Whey protein may lower blood sugar levels. Caution is advised when using herbs or supplements that may also lower blood sugar. Blood glucose levels may require monitoring, and doses may need adjustment.

Whey protein may cause low blood pressure. Caution is advised in people taking herbs or supplements that lower blood pressure.

Whey protein may increase the risk of bleeding when taken with herbs and supplements that are believed to increase the risk of bleeding. Multiple cases of bleeding have been reported with the use of Ginkgo biloba, and fewer cases with garlic and saw palmetto. Numerous other agents may theoretically increase the risk of bleeding, although this has not been proven in most cases.

Whey protein may interfere with the way the body processes certain herbs or supplements using the liver's "cytochrome P450" enzyme system. As a result, the levels of other herbs or supplements may be altered in the blood. It may also alter the effects that other herbs or supplements possibly have on the P450 system.

Whey protein may also interact with amino acids, anti-allergy herbs and supplements, antibacterials, anticancer herbs and supplements, anti-inflammatory herbs and supplements, antioxidants, antiulcer herbs and supplements, antiviral herbs and supplements, bone herbs and supplements, calcium, cholesterol-lowering herbs and supplements, colostrum, copper, creatine, dental herbs and supplements, fertility herbs and supplements, folic acid, fructooligosaccharides, herbs and supplements used for the heart, herbs and supplements that affect appetite, herbs and supplements that affect blood vessel width, herbs and supplements that affect the immune system, herbs and supplements that promote breast milk, herbs and supplements that treat abnormal heart rhythms, herbs and supplements that treat parasites or worms, hormonal herbs and supplements, iron, kidney herbs and supplements, leucine, limonene, liver herbs and supplements, lung herbs and supplements, maltodextrin, mood-altering herbs and supplements, musculoskeletal herbs and supplements, nervous system herbs and supplements, omega-3 fatty acids, pain relievers, performance enhancement herbs and supplements, probiotics, selenium, skin herbs and supplements, soy, spirulina, stomach and intestine herbs and supplements, vitamins, weight loss herbs and supplements, wound-healing herbs and supplements, and zinc.

Methodology

This information is based on a systematic review of scientific literature, and was peer-reviewed and edited by contributors to the Natural Standard Research Collaboration (www.naturalstandard.com).

Monograph methodology

Related terms

2-Methyl butanal, 3-methyl butanal, 39kDa protein, acid whey protein, Alacen®, alpha-lactalbumin, alpha-lactorphin, amino acids, antioxidant, apolipoprotein H-like whey protein, Beneprotein®, beta-lactoglobulin A, beta-lactoglobulin B, beta-lactoglobulin isoform A, beta-lactoglobulin isoform B, BiPRO®, bovine colostrum whey, bovine serum albumin (BSA), bovine transferrin, bovine whey protein concentrate, branched-chain amino acids, calcium, calmodulin, casein, cathepsin D, CD14, cheese, cheese whey, copper, cottage cheese whey, cysteine, denatured lactoperoxidase, Designer Whey® protein powder, dimethyl sulfide, early lactation protein, Enhanced Life Extension Protein, EquiPro™, FIL (Feedback inhibitor of Lactation), folacin-binding protein, folate-binding protein (FBP), Fonterra™, Fonterra WPI 894, furosine, globular protein, glutamine, glutathione, glycemic index lowering peptide fraction (GILP), glycolactin, glycomacropeptide (GMP), glycoprotein PP3, glycosylated bile salt-stimulated lipase (BSSL), goat milk whey, goat whey, Gut Balance™, HMS90™, hormones, IgG1, IgG2, IgG rich fractions, Immune WPC-40™, Immunocal™, Immnunofortis®, immunoglobulins, Impact whey protein, Lacprodan® DI-3065, Lacprodan® DI-9213, Lacprodan® DI-9224, lactalbumin, Lactermin™, lactoferrin, lactoperoxidase, lactophorin, late-lactation protein, leucine, lysinoalanine, lysozyme, magnesium, malleable protein matrix (MPM), MBP, methional, milk, milk basic protein, milk constituent, milk protein, milk protein isolate, milk proteose peptone-3, mineral whey concentrate, MUC15, NAN-HA®, N-glycans, NOP-47, NOP47, NZMP Whey Protein Concentrate 392, Optimune™, Peptamen®, phosphate, phosphorylated beta-lactoglobulin, phosphorylated whey, Prolibra™, prosaposin, protein N-linked homocysteine, proteínas del suero de la leche (Spanish), PROther®, ProtherSOD®, salty whey, selenium, serum albumin, sialic acid, sweet whey, transforming growth factor β, transforming growth factor-beta-2 (TGF-beta-2), trichosurin, Ultra Whey 90®, undenatured whey protein, vitamin B12, WE80BG, WGP-88, whey, whey acidic protein, whey fraction, whey growth factor extract, Wheygurte™, whey peptides, whey permeate, whey protein concentrate, whey protein hydrolysate, whey protein isolate, whey proteine, WPC-80, zinc.

Safety

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not strictly regulate herbs and supplements. There is no guarantee of strength, purity or safety of products, and effects may vary. You should always read product labels. If you have a medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, you should speak with a qualified healthcare provider before starting a new therapy. Consult a healthcare provider immediately if you experience side effects.

Allergies

Avoid in people with known allergy or sensitivity to milk or milk products, including cow's milk, sheep's milk, goat's milk, and mare's milk.

Allergic reactions (including diarrhea, failure to thrive, infant colic, rash, and vomiting) have been reported with exposure to whey.

Side Effects and Warnings

Whey protein is likely safe for most adults when used in amounts recommended by the manufacturer.

Whey protein is possibly safe when taken by mouth as a single dose of up to 50 grams, or when 30 grams is taken by mouth daily for six months.

Whey protein may cause abnormal heart rhythms, changes in cholesterol levels, headache, increased diabetes risk, increased fracture or osteoporosis risk, kidney dysfunction, liver damage, stomach or intestine symptoms (acid reflux, bloating, constipation, cramps, gas, increased bowel movements, movement problems, nausea, reduced appetite, swelling of limbs, and upset stomach), and thirst.

Whey protein may lower blood sugar levels. Caution is advised in people with diabetes or low blood sugar, and in those taking drugs, herbs, or supplements that affect blood sugar. Blood sugar levels may need to be monitored by a qualified healthcare professional, including a pharmacist, and medication adjustments may be necessary.

Whey protein may increase the risk of bleeding. Caution is advised in people with bleeding disorders or in those taking drugs that may increase the risk of bleeding. Dosing adjustments may be necessary.

Whey protein may interfere with the way the body processes certain drugs using the liver's "cytochrome P450" enzyme system.

Whey protein may cause low blood pressure. Caution is advised in people with low blood pressure or in those taking drugs or herbs and supplements that lower blood pressure.

Drowsiness or sedation may occur. Use caution if driving or operating heavy machinery.

Use cautiously in people who take medications, including agents that affect the immune system and agents that lower cholesterol.

Use cautiously in people with stomach or intestine disorders.

Avoid in people with known allergy or sensitivity to milk or milk products, including cow's milk, sheep's milk, goat's milk, and mare's milk.

Avoid in people who are avoiding the use of dairy products.

Avoid using whey protein long-term and in excessive amounts.

Only approved sources of whey protein should be used in infant formulas.

Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

There is a lack of scientific evidence on the use of whey protein during pregnancy or breastfeeding. Only approved sources of whey protein should be used in infant formulas. Allergic reactions have been reported with exposure to whey protein, including diarrhea, failure to thrive, infant colic, and rash.

Selected references

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  3. Burd NA, Andrews RJ, West DW, et al. Muscle time under tension during resistance exercise stimulates differential muscle protein sub-fractional synthetic responses in men. J Physiol 1-15-2012;590(Pt 2):351-362.
  4. Gouni-Berthold I, Schulte DM, Krone W, et al. The whey fermentation product malleable protein matrix decreases TAG concentrations in patients with the metabolic syndrome: a randomised placebo-controlled trial. Br.J Nutr 2012;107(11):1694-1706.
  5. Gunnerud UJ, Heinzle C, Holst JJ, et al. Effects of pre-meal drinks with protein and amino acids on glycemic and metabolic responses at a subsequent composite meal. PLoS.One. 2012;7(9):e44731.
  6. Gunnerud U, Holst JJ, Ostman E, et al. The glycemic, insulinemic and plasma amino acid responses to equi-carbohydrate milk meals, a pilot- study of bovine and human milk. Nutr J 2012;11:83.
  7. Jain SK. L-cysteine supplementation as an adjuvant therapy for type-2 diabetes. Can.J Physiol Pharmacol 2012;90(8):1061-1064.
  8. Kerasioti E, Kiskini A, Veskoukis A, et al. Effect of a special carbohydrate-protein cake on oxidative stress markers after exhaustive cycling in humans. Food Chem Toxicol. 2012;50(8):2805-2810.
  9. Kreger JW, Lee Y, and Lee SY. Perceptual changes and drivers of liking in high protein extruded snacks. J Food Sci 2012;77(4):S161-S169.
  10. Mortensen LS, Holmer-Jensen J, Hartvigsen ML, et al. Effects of different fractions of whey protein on postprandial lipid and hormone responses in type 2 diabetes. Eur.J Clin.Nutr 2012;66(7):799-805.
  11. Oftedal OT. The evolution of milk secretion and its ancient origins. Animal. 2012;6(3):355-368.
  12. Ramos OL, Fernandes JC, Silva SI, et al. Edible films and coatings from whey proteins: a review on formulation, and on mechanical and bioactive properties. Crit Rev.Food Sci Nutr 2012;52(6):533-552.
  13. Ross EK, Gray JJ, Winter AN, et al. Immunocal(R) and preservation of glutathione as a novel neuroprotective strategy for degenerative disorders of the nervous system. Recent Pat CNS.Drug Discov. 2012;7(3):230-235.
  14. Sheikholeslami Vatani D and Ahmadi Kani Golzar F. Changes in antioxidant status and cardiovascular risk factors of overweight young men after six weeks supplementation of whey protein isolate and resistance training. Appetite 2012;59(3):673-678.
  15. van Calcar SC and Ney DM. Food products made with glycomacropeptide, a low-phenylalanine whey protein, provide a new alternative to amino Acid-based medical foods for nutrition management of phenylketonuria. J Acad.Nutr Diet. 2012;112(8):1201-1210.

This evidence-based monograph was prepared by The Natural Standard Research Collaboration

www.naturalstandard.com