Whey Protein Importance
Studies on whey demonstrate it's an even better protein supplement than previously thought. Although whey protein's health benefits have only recently been elucidated, the use of whey protein for medicinal purposes has been prescribed since the time of Hippocrates. In fact, there are two ancient proverbs from the Italian city of Florence that say, "If you want to live a healthy and active life, drink whey," and, "If everyone were raised on whey, doctors would be bankrupt."
In previous issues, we've chronicled the extensive research showing the many potential health benefits of whey protein concentrate. The majority of that research was done in the 1980s and early 1990s, and was extremely persuasive. Scientists have continued their research on whey proteins with even more impressive results. What follows is some of the more current, interesting and useful research on whey proteins.
Whey and Cancer
Additional studies have been done on animals regarding cancer-causing chemicals to see what effects whey protein concentrate would have on cancer prevention or treatment. Scientists fed rats various proteins and then subjected them to the powerful carcinogen dimethylhydrazine.
As with the previous research, the rats fed whey protein concentrate showed fewer tumors and a reduced pooled area of tumors (tumor mass index). The researchers found whey protein offered "considerable protection to the host" over that of other proteins, including soy.
1. Even more exciting, in vivo research on cancer and whey showed whey protein concentrate inhibited the growth of breast cancer cells at low concentrations (Baruchel S. and Vaiu G., Anti Cancer Research, 1996). Finally, and most importantly, a fairly recent clinical study with cancer patients showed a regression in some patient's tumors when fed whey protein concentrate at 30 grams per day.
2. Whey and Glutathione
This new research using whey protein concentrate led researchers to an amazing discovery regarding the relationship between cancerous cells, glutathione (GSH) and whey protein concentrate. It was found that whey protein concentrate selectively depletes cancer cells of their glutathione, thus making them more susceptible to cancer treatments such as radiation and chemotherapy.
It has been found that cancer cells and normal cells will respond differently to nutrients and drugs that affect glutathione status. What is most interesting to note is the fact that the concentration of glutathione in tumor cells is higher than that of the normal cells that surround it. This difference in glutathione status between normal cells and cancer cells is believed to be an important factor in cancer cells' resistance to chemotherapy.
As the researchers put it, "Tumor cell GSH concentration may be among the determinants of the cytotoxicity [poisonous to cells] of many chemotherapeutic agents and of radiation, and an increase in GSH concentration appears to be at least one of the mechanisms of acquired drug resistance to chemotherapy."
They further state, "It is well-known that rapid GSH synthesis in tumor cells is associated with high rates of cellular proliferation. Depletion of tumor GSH in vivo decreases the rate of cellular proliferation and inhibits cancer growth."
The problem is, it's difficult to reduce glutathione sufficiently in tumor cells without placing healthy tissue at risk and putting the cancer patient in a worse condition. What is needed is a compound that can selectively deplete the cancer cells of their glutathione, while increasing, or at least maintaining, the levels of glutathione in healthy cells.
This is exactly what whey protein appears to do. In this new research it was found that cancer cells subjected to whey proteins were depleted of their glutathione, and their growth was inhibited, while normal cells had an increase in GSH and increased cellular growth.
These effects were not seen with other proteins. Not surprisingly, the researchers concluded, "Selective depletion of tumor GSH may in fact render cancer cells more vulnerable to the action of chemotherapy and eventually protect normal tissue against the deleterious effects of chemotherapy." The exact mechanism by which whey protein achieves this is not fully understood, but it appears that it interferes with the normal feedback mechanism and regulation of glutathione in cancer cells.
It is known that glutathione production is negatively inhibited by its own synthesis. Being that baseline glutathione levels in cancer cells are higher than that of normal cells, it is probably easier to reach the level of negative-feedback inhibition in the cancer cells' glutathione levels than in the normal cells' glutathione levels.
Whey and LDL Cholesterol
The positive health benefits of whey protein concentrate does not end with its effects on immunity and cancer prevention and treatment. Whey protein concentrate also was found to be a potent inhibitor of oxidized low density lipoprotein cholesterol. Current research suggests that the conversion of LDL to oxidized LDL is the trigger that leads to atherogenesis... the formation of the plaque and lesions associated with atherosclerosis.
Therefore, any substance that prevents the oxidation of LDL is thought to be anti-atherogenic. Though animal-based proteins have traditionally been implicated as being pro-atherogenic, whey proteins appear to be an exception to the rule. whey protein is made up of several minor and major fractions, such as beta-lactoglobulin, alpha-lactalbumin, albumin, lactoferrin and immunoglobulin. It was discovered that the minor constituent responsible for the ability of whey protein concentrate to prevent the oxidation of LDL appears to be the lactoferrin fraction of the protein.
3. Lactoferrin In Whey
When the lactoferrin was removed from the protein, the ability of the whey-protein concentrate to prevent LDL oxidation was greatly reduced, leading the researchers to speculate, "Our results suggest that LF (lactoferrin) is the main factor responsible for the inhibitory effect of whey protein (on LDL) and it may function synergistically together with other factors in the whey protein, for example, alpha-lactalbumin."
Another study using rats examined the effects of whey protein concentrate and casein on cholesterol and the risk factors of heart disease. Though casein (another milk-based protein commonly used in research) is known to raise cholesterol in humans and animals, whey protein has the opposite effect, leading the researchers to note, "At the high dietary protein level [300 gram per kilogram of feed] , whey protein significantly lowered plasma and liver cholesterol and also plasma triacylglycerols."
4. The cholesterol-lowering effects of whey protein concentrate in this study also was associated with a reduction in LDL cholesterol. Most interesting was the fact that this effect on cholesterol was not seen when the animals were fed amino acid mixtures that simulated whey protein, so it is clear that there are properties within the whey that have these effects beyond that of its amino acid profile.
Whey and Bone Growth
Finally, whey protein appears to play a direct role in bone growth. Researchers found that rats fed whey protein concentrate showed increased bone strength and bone protein such as collagen. This discovery led researches to test whether or not whey protein directly stimulated osteoblast (bone cell) growth in vitro.
Whey protein was found to stimulate, dose dependently, total protein synthesis, DNA content, and increased hydroxyproline contents of bone cells.
5. It should be noted that not all whey protein concentrates are created equal. Processing whey protein to remove the lactose and fats without losing its biological activity takes special care by the manufacturer. The protein must be processed under low temperature and low acid conditions so as not to "denature" the protein. Maintaining the natural state of the protein is essential to its biological activity. These research findings, combined with the previous decade of study on whey protein, should convince anyone that whey protein concentrate is truly the life-extension protein.
Higher Glutathione Levels and Whey
A decade-and-a-half of findings on the benefits of whey protein are far-reaching.
Previous Studies Include The Following:
Whey protein concentrate dramatically raises glutathione levels. Glutathione is an essential water-soluble antioxidant in the body that protects cells and serves as a primary detoxifier of harmful compounds such as peroxides, heavy metals, carcinogens and other toxins.
Glutathione also is intimately tied to immunity, and reduced glutathione levels have been associated with disease such as AIDS, atherosclerosis, Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease, to name only a few. In fact, glutathione levels appear to be one way of modulating immunity.
6. Whey protein concentrate was found to consistently raise this extremely important immune stimulating antioxidant beyond that of any protein studied (including soy) to higher than normal levels in multiple animal studies.
7. A small pilot study with HIV-positive men who were fed whey protein concentrate found dramatic increases in glutathione levels of all the study participants, with two out of three men reaching their ideal body weight.
8. In fact, there have been several U.S. and international patents granted for the treatment of AIDS and improving immunity with whey protein concentrates.Whey protein improves immune function and fights infections. Animals fed whey protein concentrate consistently showed dramatic enhancement of both the humoral and cellular immune response to a variety of immune challenges, such as salmonella, streptococcus pneumonia 9 and extreme cancer-causing chemicals. This effect on immunity was not seen with other proteins. So proof Whey protein concentrate fights cancer!!
Why You Should Eat Healthier
Every where you look you see articles or news or stories on how America is overweight. This probably doesn't surprise anyone, as you only have to take a quick look around to see that our lifestyles don't promote good health. We drive in cars. We eat fast food. We sit in offices. We simply don't care enough about our health. Eating healthy is a simple step that you can take to improve your general health.
Why People Get Sick
The body is a marvelous creation, a carbon, oxygen combustion machine, constantly burning fuel, disposing of the waste products of combustion, and constantly rebuilding tissue by replacing worn out, dead cells with new, fresh ones.
Herbs that Heal Naturally
The word herb is used to refer to any part of a plant used for flavoring or medicine. Herbs for relaxation so sleep will come, and relieving pain or water retention have the welcome plus of being void of the side effects that come with chemical medications. Being pain free and relaxed with a clear head is the way things should be, and can be with herbs and Reiki. I often have clients schedule a full Reiki session with a herb consultation.
Poor Dental Hygiene May Account for Poor Health
Bright white teeth and fresh breath does not necessarily mean you have a healthy mouth! General health is directly related to gum health. Gum disease has been linked to several medical conditions such as stroke, diabetes, heart attack and worsening lung disease. Healthy gums can reduce a person's biological age by up to 6.4 years. Why? Because studies show that the presence of periodontal diseases, most common in people with tooth loss, actually affects longevity. The best of these studies, done at Emory University in conjunction with the Centers for Disease Control, indicates that people with gingivitis and periodontal disease have a mortality rate that is 23% to 46% higher than those who don't. Keeping your gums clean and healthy may help reduce the risk of many illnesses, including heart disease. Gum Disease Gum disease or periodontal disease, a chronic inflammation and infection of the gums and surrounding tissue, is the major cause of about 70 percent of adult tooth loss, affecting three out of four persons at some point in their life. Red swollen and bleeding gums characterize gum disease in the initial stages and progresses to infections, chronic inflammation and bone loss in later stages. Eventually bacteria are allowed to flow freely through your gums and into your blood stream that activates and stresses the immune system. Heart Attack Research shows that people with gum disease are 25% more likely to have a heart attack. Bacteria originating from the gums to the veins and arteries cause plaque build up and arterial inflammation that can provoke jeopardous clotting. A 12-year study conducted by Harvard University researchers and 41,000 healthy men free of cardiovascular disease showed that those with periodontal disease had more clot related strokes. Diabetes Periodontal disease severely affects the control of blood sugars. The spread of bacteria through out the body through the blood stream stresses and confuses the body when trying to adjust sugars to the invasion. Antibiotic treatment has help diabetics control blood sugars while treating the infections caused by gum disease. Lung Infections Breathing in oral bacteria caused by gum disease can cause lung infections. Bacteria that grow in the oral cavities can be breathed into the lungs to cause respiratory disease such as pneumonia.
Food Sources That Boost Glutathione Naturally
Copyright © 2004 Priya Shah
The Importance of Nutrition and Lifestyle
Eating healthy and taking care of yourself is essential to obtain optimal wellness. Most people roll their eyes or moan when confronted with these ideas, but, in reality, taking care of yourself is not as hard, time consuming, expensive, or dull as most would have you believe. In fact, once people decide to choose a healthy life, they notice more energy, increased self-confidence, more time to do things that really matter, and they spend less time in the doctor's office or hospital. It is less expensive to buy organic foods and shop for most items at a health food store than it is to buy candy, soda, chips, pizza, alcohol, and cigarettes.
Is Organic Really Better for You?
I had finally come to a place in my life where I was concerned about my health and that of my family. After all, it's not the quantity, but the quality of life right? And if you can increase both, all the better! We started exercising, eating healthier and taking vitamins. Then one day while I was getting my daily dosage of web surfing in, I came across an article about the hidden dangers of chemicals and how using organic products and food reduces those risks. Now, I'm not one to blindly believe everything I read, so I started searching for some answers on my own. If I was putting myself or my family at risk for serious health problems, I wanted to know!
You Can Have Healthy Skin
With new research, new products and new skin protection advice popping up all the time, it is hard to figure out the best things to do to improve and protect your skin.
Healthy Eating Made Simple
The confusion about eating healthy and dieting will now be cleared up, all in one easy sentence. Are you ready? Everyone is different.
Body Calling: Maintaining Excellent Health
Our bodies are truly incredible machines. What makes cells healthy? What causes disease? Scientists are discovering the answers: Keep human cells healthy and fully functional and with out degeneration.
What is A Balanced Diet For Losing Weight and Good Health?
The total calories that you should be consuming depend on whether you are a women or a man. It depends on your body structure and your activity level. So you need to make some adjustment on the numbers I present.
Olive Oil -Not Just for Popeye
Archeological records indicate that man has cultivated the olive tree for about 6,000 years; having been especially popular in the Isle of Crete (which as you recall, also appeared in the Seven Countries Study to be the site of the lowest incidence of heart disease). All oils that we use for eating and cooking contain "fat" and olive oil is no exception. However, it is mostly monounsaturated fat as opposed to saturated fat or hydrogenated fat. It can be used as a flavoring for cooking or in salad dressings or as a healthy substitute for butter or margarine. Several large population studies have confirmed that diets with higher amounts of fat of the monounsaturated type reduce total cholesterol and LDL ["bad"] cholesterol levels to the same degree as low fat, high-carbohydrate diets [such as the AHA Step I and II diets]. The additional benefit of olive oil is, as part of a Mediterranean type diet, is that it also has a favorable effect on lowering blood triglycerides [also a factor in heart disease] and maintaining HDL ["good" cholesterol].
Juicing - A Beginners Guide
You can spot a juicer a mile off at the supermarket or greengrocer. Apart from the huge number of carrots and apples they are loading into their trolley, they also have that slightly smug, see-how-healthy-I-am look about them. Or is that just me?! Actually, I don't buy a lot of carrots and apples any more, because (other than my indiscretion with a packet of shortbread this week) I've radically reduced the amount of sugar I take in. My juice of choice is a vegetable one, a green one - but more about that later, first let's ask...
Debunking the Myth About Bottled Water: Is It Really Safer for Your Kids?
When you actually sit down and think about it, bottled water companies do something really peculiar. They sell a product freely available to every man, woman, and child in every home - water. And they sell it very, very successfully.
True Culprits of High Cholesterol
What if I told you tap water and homogenized milk may be two of the biggest culprits in skyrocketing rates of high cholesterol? Cholesterol is actually being produced by our own bodies all of the time as a natural mechanism to combat oxidation when our bodies are diseased. Therefore, if we are not well, our cholesterol levels are likely to be higher regardless of what we eat that contains cholesterol. Having too low of a cholesterol level is just as bad as having too high.
Nutrition For Your Young Athlete
Nutrition is extremely important for any young person, especially an athletic one, and even more so during the developmental years of their life. Whether your child is involved in soccer or football, gymnastics or swimming or Little League, he or she needs a good nutritive balance in order to be successful in any endeavor. It cannot be stressed enough that anorexia and bulimia, chronic malnutrition, are absolutely devastating not only to an athlete's career, but also to overall health and well-being. You should always watch for decreased eating in your child, no matter how robust and healthy they may seem.
Buying Organic Produce: 6 Tips on How to Shop Wisely and Save Money
Some say they don't or can't buy organic foods due to higher cost and less availability. Here are a few ways to make organics more affordable and easier to purchase for your family.
Bathing Suit Season - A Nutritional Guide
Spring is in the air and ? summer is around the corner! I know a lot of people have been contacting me about getting themselves and their bodies ready for da-da- DUM ?BATHING SUIT SEASON.
Food We Take Determines Our Character
When you take your food next time, take care of the food what you are taking. Because the food you take determines your character. Not able to believe this. But it is true.
Magnesium is an important mineral that serves numerous essential functions in the body. There are more than 300 biochemical processes in the human body that require the use of the mineral magnesium. From the center of the human body, the heart, to the framework, the bones, some of the body's most fundamental systems and structures depend on this very vital mineral. For a normal life and health, sufficient amount of magnesium must be taken and maintained by the human body daily.
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