Whey Protein

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Whey protein is a part of milk protein which is thought to be healthier than other forms of protein that people consume. Whey is one of the two proteins found in milk that people often use as a supplement. This form of protein can be readily absorbed by the body faster than other varieties of protein. Additionally, whey provides a substantial amount of L-cysteine, an amino acid which helps combat deficiencies that naturally occur with age and in those with diabetes. Many people believe that whey protein helps promote fat loss, but this effect is due to protein itself as opposed to whey specifically. Individuals with kidney or liver issues should avoid whey consumption as it can be harmful for those with existing conditions. Orally, whey protein is used to improve:

  • Athletic performance
  • An alternative to milk for people with lactose intolerance
  • Protein allergy
  • Treatment of asthma
  • Hyperlipidemia
  • Promote weight loss
  • Replacing or supplementing milk-based infant formulas
  • Atopic disease in infants
  • Treating metastatic carcinoma
  • Colon cancer
  • Reversing weight loss
  • Increasing glutathione (GSH) in people with HIV disease

Also known as:  Bovine Whey Protein Concentrate, Concentré de Protéine de Petit-Lait Bovin, Fraction de Lactosérum, Fraction de Petit-Lait, Goat Milk Whey, Goat Whey, Isolat de Protéine de Lactosérum, Isolat de Protéine de Petit-Lait, Lactosérum de Lait de Chèvre, MBP, Milk Protein, Milk Protein Isolate, Mineral Whey Concentrate, Proteínas del Suero de la Leche, Protéine de Lactosérum, Protéine de Lait, Protéine de Petit-Lait, Whey, Whey Fraction, Whey Peptides, Whey Protein Concentrate, Whey Protein Hydrolysate, Whey Protein Isolate, WPC, WPI

Diseases and Conditions

Whey protein is possibly effective for eczema, atopic disease, HIV/AIDS related weight loss, and plaque psoriasis. Wheat protein is possibly ineffective for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, osteoporosis, and weight loss. There is insufficient information on the effectiveness of whey protein for:

  • Athletic performance
  • Asthma
  • Cancer
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Exercise-induced asthma
  • Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis
  • Hepatitis
  • Hyperlipidemia
  • Hypertension
  • Hospital-acquired infections
  • Mitochondrial myopathies
  • Polycystic ovarian syndrome
  • Polymyalgia rheumatica


Whey protein is likely safe when used orally and appropriately for both children and adults. There is insufficient information on the safety of whey protein for pregnant and breastfeeding women. Side effects to whey protein are rare in individuals who don't have allergies; but may possibly include:

  • Dysrhythmias
  • Increased bowel movements
  • Nausea
  • Thirst
  • Bloating
  • Cramps
  • Reduced appetite
  • Acute cholestatic liver injury
  • Akathisia
  • Choreoathetosis
  • Dyskinesia
  • Dystonia
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches when taken in high doses
  • Increased incidence of cancer, diabetes, and fractures.

Medication Interactions

Whey protein may interfere with:

  • Albendazole
  • Alendronate
  • Levodopa
  • Quinolone antibiotics
  • Tetracycline antibiotics

Supplement and Food Interactions

No supplement, herb, or food interactions reported. 


The appropriate amount of whey protein is largely based on each person's protein goals. Athletes or physically active individuals who would like to lose body fat and maintain lean muscle mass aim for a daily intake of 1.5-2.2 grams per kilogram of body weight. People who are not active and not looking to change their body composition aim for 0.8 grams per kilogram of bodyweight daily.


Whey protein is found in dairy products.

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  1. https://examine.com/supplements/whey-protein/
  2. https://naturalmedicines.therapeuticresearch.com/references.aspx?productid=833

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