Why Over The TopBy George L. Redmon PH.D.N.D.
Studies have suggested for some time that whey protein can up-regulate immune system surveillance systems due to the presence of several live bioactive fractions. Those fractions include beta-lactoglobulin, alpha-
lactalbumin, glycomacropeptide and lactoferrin. Lactoferrin has been shown to stop the growth of pathogens commonly associated with food poisoning. Interestingly, new research has shown that lactoferrin is able to increase the production of new bone, in cases of osteoporosis and non-healing bone fractures.
Whey also contains bovine serum albumin, a protein that increases white blood cell, T-cell and antioxidant cell activity, as well as immunoglobulin anti-bodies that build the immune system. Additionally, all the critical amino acids for cellular repair, growth, and glutathione production naturally occur within whey protein. As you know glutathione is the most powerful antioxidant that protects your cells, essentially the body’s defender of your internal homeostasis, which refers to the ability or tendency of an organism or cell to maintain internal equilibrium by adjusting its physiological processes.
It would appear from our discussion thus far that whey, while holding the status of gold standard within the fitness and body-building community, is clearly more dynamic or more highly anabolic than ever imagined, meaning
having the ability to make bio-chemically charged processes, metabolically better. 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.
Whey In the Muscle’s Anabolic Zone
While researchers outside the sports nutrition community are unlocking the potential medicinal benefits of whey protein, conversely this same scenario is occurring within the sports medicine arena. For example, in a recent study conducted at Baylor University, resistance trained individuals who utilized a whey/casein combination gained five pounds (5lbs) more muscle after 10wks versus subjects using whey alone. Similarly, researchers at the Department of Nutrition and Metabolism at the University of Texas found that a synergistic blend of 25% whey, 25% soy and 50% of casein protein sustained a longer consistent delivery of amino acids.
Whey: A One Minute Primer
Different dietary proteins affect whole body protein anabolism and growth differently, and therefore have the potential to influence results obtained from resistance training. However, no other supplemental protein is as important as whey. It is the fastest-digesting protein as compared to casein, egg or soy protein. Once digested it is rapidly broken down according to researchers at the Nutritional Biochemistry Department at the University of Yaounde in Careroon within a matter of 1.5 hours. Because of this, amino acids- the building blocks of all proteins are also metabolized rapidly and are absorbed into the bloodstream. These busy bees so to speak quickly start repairing damaged muscle tissue by jump starting protein synthesis. Phenomenally, current data indicates that in some cases whey protein can increase protein synthesis by 70%. On the other hand, studies have shown that casein protein in many cases increases protein synthesis by only 30% because of its slower rate of break-down. Also, according to bodybuilding guru and sports medicine expert Jim Stoppani, whey protein also boosts blood flow to muscle tissue, which is another secret to its protein-synthesis power. He went on to say that increased blood flow enhances the delivery of nutrients, including glucose (energy), amino acids, and oxygen, all key nutrients that support muscle growth and accelerate recovery after a workout.
Whey/Leucine Drives the Protein Synthesis Continuum
Collectively, one of greatest attributes that whey has over other protein sources is its high leucine content. Leucine is considered to be the prime anabolic signaling agent that ignites the mTor pathway, short for Mammalian Target of Rapamycin. This pathway is responsible for signaling the muscle to make more protein. The mTOR pathway could be compared to a back- up generator that kicks in when
protein production shuts down. However, mTOR isn’t a back-up system in case of error, it is the system. Simply put, leucine not only provides the building blocks for
protein synthesis, it also controls the bio-chemical processes that run the protein synthesis processes. In fact, without leucine, the body can’t correctly decipher cellular instructions that stimulate protein synthesis and prevent the degradation of muscle tissue at times of nutritional inadequacies and recovery.
Paradoxically, in a recent study appearing in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition researchers reported that to date leucine is the only amino acid known to stimulate protein synthesis without help from another source. More specifically, a series of recent studies have demonstrated that leucine has a 10 fold greater impact on protein synthesis than any other amino acid.
To read the full article “Whey Over The Top” and how whey protein can help enhance your muscle building efforts purchase the Volume 6 Issue 6 of Natural Bodz magazine Click here
~ George L. Redmon, Ph.D.
Dr. Redmon has been associated with the vitamin and health industry for over 25years, having served as The National Product and Education Director for one of the countries largest retailers of nutritional supplements.
He has been widely published in many major bodybuilding, fitness and alternative medicine publications. He is the author of Natural Born Fat Burners, Energy for Life and is a member of The National Academy of Sports Medicine and The International Society of Sports Nutrition.