Does Whey Protein Work?

Many people may wonder, "Does whey protein work?" Whey protein is claimed to have several benefits, such as treating cancer, increasing muscle mass in bodybuilders, and helping with weight loss. Some preliminary studies have indicated that whey protein may be effective for decreasing the risk of allergies in infants and helping people who have HIV or AIDS gain weight. However, there is little evidence to show that whey protein really works for most uses.

Does Whey Protein Really Work?

As with most dietary supplements, whey protein is claimed to work for a variety of different uses. But does it really work? This article will address the effectiveness of whey protein for various uses, including:
  • Preventing food allergies (especially milk allergy) in high-risk infants
  • Helping people with HIV and AIDS to gain weight and increase levels of glutathione (an antioxidant)
  • Increasing muscle mass in bodybuilders
  • Treating high cholesterol
  • Helping with weight loss (as part of a high-protein diet)
  • Treating cancer
  • Treating asthma.

Scientific Evidence

Studies suggest that infant formula made with whey protein hydrolysate (in which the proteins have been partially broken down) might decrease the risk of allergies, especially cow's milk allergy, in infants who are at a high risk for allergies. Also, studies suggest that whey protein supplementation can help people who have HIV and AIDS regain some of the weight lost due to the disease process.
Very early evidence suggests that whey protein may be of use for treating cancer. A specific whey protein product (Immunocal®) has been shown to deplete cancer cells of glutathione (an antioxidant), which might make cancer cells more susceptible to chemotherapy. Much more research is necessary before whey protein can be recommended as a cancer treatment.
There is not enough scientific evidence to suggest that whey protein works for other uses.
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Whey Protein Powder Information

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