Possible Whey Protein Side EffectsWhey protein is a hugely popular supplement that does many positive things for those who use it. But at the same time, there seems to be a lot of confusion about what whey protein really does and whether or not there are serious whey protein side effects that should concern people. It is true that you should always be careful about anything regarding your health. Research and a lot of thought should go into any decision before you add a new supplement or vitamin to your diet.
There are scientists who claim that using a lot of whey protein over a long period of time can cause liver and kidney problems. No one should take a statement like that at face value. There are things you should know about these claims of the dangers of whey protein and the best way to do this is to understand everything you can about whey protein and what it does.
What is Whey Protein?Contrary to some people’s beliefs, whey protein is not synthetic or unnatural in any way. This misconception is where some of the fears come from. Whey comes from milk. More specifically, it is separated from the curd during the process of making cheese from the milk. It is then refined and normally turned into a powder with artificial flavoring added. But these processes in no way make it unnatural or synthetic. Twenty percent of the protein in cow’s milk is whey. Whey proteins are generally absorbed easily by the body and are low in fat and carbohydrates.
What are the Benefits of Whey Protein?Bodybuilders and athletes have been taking advantage of whey protein benefits for years. A popular whey protein for example is the Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard. Using whey protein is recently catching on with people interested in its anti-aging, weight loss, and longevity benefits. The most commonly known benefits of whey protein, which are the reasons why millions of people have been using for years are:
- It helps increase lean muscle because it is a form of protein that is more easily absorbed by the body.
- It helps with weight loss, especially the loss of body fat.
- It can improve the immune system by boosting the levels of glutathione (GSH) in the body. Glutathione is one of the body’s most important antioxidants and is vital to immunity. Low levels of glutathione can be linked to many diseases.
- Low levels of glutathione can also cause the muscles to get fatigued more quickly than they normally would. Enhanced levels can help you train longer and harder.
- For athletes, whey can improve performance.
The lesser-known benefits of whey protein have more recently been discovered and are backed by numerous clinical studies. These studies show that if taken regularly, whey protein may be able to prevent cancer. It can also help fight HIV; reduce stress by lowering the stress hormone, cortisol; and increase levels of serotonin levels in the brain that are important for emotional well-being. Studies also show that whey protein can even reduce high blood pressure and improve the liver function of people with some types of hepatitis. Not to mention the lesser known using whey to help weight loss.
Are There Really Any Dangerous Whey Protein Side Effects?
Remember that claim that said extended use of whey protein could cause kidney and liver damage? Among all the clinical studies that have been done to find out the benefits and possible side effects of whey protein, there are none that back up this claim in any way. Millions of people have been using whey protein for decades. If there were evidence that it causes kidney and liver damage, there would be studies to prove this.
It is possible that some people have or may abuse whey supplements by taking much more than the recommended daily dose. If some serious health issues resulted from this, there would be more doctors and scientists trying once again to demonize what is otherwise a beneficial dietary supplement. Since its purpose is as a dietary supplement, it should be remembered that whey protein should only be used in that capacity. The recommended dosage is not meant to be exceeded, even though the most likely result would be stomach discomfort.