Whether you’re trying to lose a few pounds, boost your immunity, or even prevent cancer, whey protein might be the answer. Myriads of recent studies are confirming the many health benefits of whey protein. Here are five things whey protein can do for you:
- Lose Fat, but Keep Muscle– A team of researchers in Minnesota conducted a 12-week study in which they reduced the daily caloric intake of subjects by 500 calories. Half of the participants were then given whey protein, while the other half were given a beverage drink containing the same amount of calories. Those consuming whey lost a significantly greater amount of body fat (6.1% total) and better preserved their muscle mass.
- Fight Cancer – whey protein is a very promising prostate-cancer-fighting nutrient. In an Ohio State University study, researchers treated human prostate cells with whey protein and then measured the cells’ levels of a natural cancer-blocking compound called glutathione. Glutathione levels rose by a remarkable 64 percent. That’s because whey is an excellent source of the amino acid cysteine, and cysteine can become glutathione in the body.
- Improve Immunity– The ability of whey protein to support the production of the key immune system antioxidant, glutathione, has already made it potent immune support. But this study shows that it also enhances the function of neutrophils (the most important and abundant white blood cells). Not only does the whey protein help neutrophils fight infection better, it was also discovered that it helps the immune system more quickly recover and return to normal. That means your body is ready to fight the next virus to come your way.
- Curb Hunger– There is a lot of scientific literature to support the claim that protein makes you feel fuller for a longer period of time. But researchers in the Netherlands took it a step further. They compared whey protein to soy and casein (the other dairy protein) on satiety and hunger. Subjects were given a custard breakfast made with one of the three proteins and then presented with lunch three hours later. The whey protein suppressed appetite and improved satiety significantly more than the soy or casein.
- Reduce Stress– Whey protein is positively beneficial when it comes to mood, stress and cognition. In a recent study, it was found that whey supplementation raised tryptophan levels. This amino acid is a building block for the synthesis of serotonin, a hormone responsible for happiness and wellbeing. After supplementation, subjects prone to stress reported feeling better under stress, improvements in mood and better coping strategies. Whey protein is also beneficial for memory performance. Another study found that whey protein supplementation improved memorization test scores for subjects who were more likely to perceive stress.