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Whey Protein Frequently Asked Questions

  [ 1162 votes ]   [ Discuss This Article ] • September 26, 2003

What is whey protein?

Whey is one of two primary proteins found in dairy milk. Whey protein and casein are harvested during cheese production. Liquid whey is separated from casein while whey proteins are then isolated from the liquid whey and purified.

What is the difference between whey protein isolate and whey protein concentrate?

The isolate form of whey protein is the most refined and pure form of whey protein, and contains between 90 to 95% protein, with little if any fat or lactose. A concentrate is typically at 80% protein content and can contain lactose, fat and minerals.

What are the building blocks of a whey protein isolate?

Whey protein consists of several components that work synergistically to boost immune function. Advanced manufacturing techniques allow each component to be isolated for unprecedented quality and potency. Whey protein includes the following building blocks:

Beta Lactoglobulin

Beta lactoglobulin is an excellent source of branched chain amino acids that help maintain muscle strength and spare glycogen during exercise. Beta lactoglobulin is often the most abundant component of whey protein, making up 50-55% of composition.


Alpha lactalbumin is the second most abundant whey protein component, making up approximately 20-25% of the whey protein. It is a rich source of essential amino acids and is capable of binding with calcium. High in tryptophan, alpha lactalbumin also assists in sleep regulation and mood improvement.


The predominant component of colostrums, immunoglobulins make up approximately 10-15% of the whey protein. Immunoglobulins provide immunity enhancing benefits.

Bovine Serum Albumin (BSA

BSA is a large sized protein with fat binding properties and a good essential amino acid profile that makes up approximately 5-10% of the whey protein.

Glycomacropeptide (GMP)

Helps control and inhibit the formation of dental plaque and dental cavities.
GMP does not contain the amino acid phenylalanine. Phenylalanine is the amino acid having a serious negative effect on individuals with PKU disorder.


A smaller portion of whey protein, lactoferrin makes up approximately 1-2%, and primarily helps to inhibit the growth of bacteria and fungi due to its ability to bind iron. The USDA recently approved the use of lactoferrin on meat to prevent the growth of pathogens such as E. coli and Salmonella. Lactoferrin also promotes the growth of beneficial bacteria such as Bifidus and helps establish good microbial conditions in the intestines. Additionally, it is a natural anti-oxidant found in many body secretions such as tears, blood, breast milk, saliva and mucus.

Lactoperoxidase & Lysozyme

Together these proteins make up approximately 0.6% of whey, and help inhibit the growth of iron dependent bacteria while supporting immune activity.

Is Whey Protein Safe for the Lactose Intolerant?

Whey protein isolates contain less than 1% lactose. This low level of lactose is usually well tolerated in allergic individuals.

What Are The Side Effects of Taking Whey Protein?

There are no documented side effects of whey protein in healthy individuals.

Is Whey Protein Safe for Pregnant Women?

Whey protein is a high quality, complete protein that is safe for use by pregnant women provided they are not allergic to dairy proteins.

(Source: Whey Protein Institute)

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