Below is a good article I found on www.about.com regarding the benefits of whey protein...as always, please consult your doctor or health professional before beginning a diet or supplement plan.
Whey Protein for Weight Training?
By Cathy Wong, About.com Guide
Updated July 30, 2010
About.com Health's Disease and Condition content is reviewed by our Medical Review Board
A protein complex derived from milk, whey protein is said to offer a range of health benefits. Studies show that whey protein may act as an antioxidant1, fight viruses and bacteria, and keep blood pressure2 in check. What's more, several biological components of whey protein (including immunoglobulins and lactoferrin) appear to stimulate the immune system3. Another supposed health benefit of whey protein is its ability to convert the amino acid cysteine to glutathione (a powerful antioxidant).
Claims for Whey Protein Benefits
Available as a dietary supplement, whey protein is typically touted as a natural remedy for the following conditions:
In addition, whey protein is said to offer several benefits related to sports performance6.
The Science Behind Whey's Health Benefits
To date, there is limited scientific support for whey protein's health benefits. Here's a look at several key study findings:
1) Whey Protein and Heart Health
Whey protein may help lower blood pressure, LDL ("bad") cholesterol, and C-reactive protein (a marker of inflammation7), according to a 2006 study of 30 people with high or slightly elevated blood pressure. For six weeks, study members received 20 grams of whey protein per day.
In a 2010 study of 20 overweight or obese postmenopausal women, researchers found that a single dose of whey protein significantly lowered levels of blood sugar and triglycerides (blood fats known to raise risk of heart disease when present at elevated levels).
2) Whey Protein and Exercise Training
In a research review published in 2008, investigators found that taking whey protein supplements may help enhance the effects of strength-training exercises. The review also found that whey protein supplementation may help individuals maintain muscle mass as they age, possibly due to its high content of muscle-building amino acids.
3) Whey Protein and Bone Health
Preliminary findings from animal research and test-tube studies suggest that whey protein may help promote bone formation and protect against bone loss-related conditions like osteoporosis and osteopenia8. However, whey protein's effects on bone health have yet to be tested in clinical trials.
Should You Use Whey Protein?
Due to the lack of science behind whey protein's health effects, whey protein cannot be recommended for the treatment or prevention of any health condition. If you're considering the use of whey protein, talk to your doctor before starting your supplement regimen.
Hayes A, Cribb PJ. "Effect of whey protein isolate on strength, body composition and muscle hypertrophy during resistance training." Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2008 11(1):40-4.
Kumegawa M. "Prevention of osteoporosis by foods and dietary supplements. Bone reinforcement factor in milk: milk basic protein (MBP)." Clin Calcium. 2006 16(10):1624-31.
Kruger MC, Plimmer GG, Schollum LM, Haggarty N, Ram S, Palmano K. "The effect of whey acidic protein fractions on bone loss in the ovariectomised rat." Br J Nutr. 2005 94(2):244-52.
Marshall K. "Therapeutic applications of whey protein." Altern Med Rev. 2004 9(2):136-56.
Pal S, Ellis V, Ho S. "Acute effects of whey protein isolate on cardiovascular risk factors in overweight, post-menopausal women." Atherosclerosis. 2010 May 31.
Pins JJ, Keenan JM. "Effects of whey peptides on cardiovascular disease risk factors." J Clin Hypertens (Greenwich). 2006 8(11):775-82.
This About.com page has been optimized for print. To view this page in its original form, please visit: http://altmedicine.about.com/od/completeazindex/a/whey_protein.htm
©2010 About.com, Inc., a part of The New York Times Company. All rights reserved.