By: Dr JEAN-FRANCOIS LESGARDS, Chief Science Officer
Dr Jean Francois Lesgards has a Post Doctorate degree in Chemistry and Biochemistry with 20 years of fundamental and clinical research in nutrition, food, health and inflammatory diseases. Jean-François also worked 5 years in USA and Canada at the HEART INSTITUTE OF MONTREAL, Qc, CANADA and at the DIABETES AND OBESITY CENTER - Division of Molecular Cardiology, University of Louisville, KENTUCKY, USA.
He is now affiliated to the National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) in Aix Marseille University, FRANCE and has also worked at INRA (National Institute of Agronomic Research), INSERM (National Institute of Health and Medical Research) in France.
Proteins are vital for the body as it is highlighted in the etymology of the word: «proteios» meaning «of first importance». Proteins are the noble matter of our body and represent around 16% of its mass.
They are essential for structure: skin, hair (keratin), cartilage, muscles, tendons and ligaments. Proteins also exist in the form of tens of thousands of enzymes that are doing vital reactions inside and outside of our cells that permit DNA and cell replication, adaptation to our environment and maintaining all the bodies balances & systems. Proteins also transport molecules like oxygen and carbon dioxide for hemoglobin or cholesterol for lipoproteins. Hormones (the messengers that regulate our physiology and behavior) and antibodies or immunoglobulins (immunity) are also proteins.
Proteins have to come from our diet as we can’t store them like sugars or fats. We need around 1 gram of protein per kilogram of body weight per day (that means if you weigh 60kg then you will need 60g of proteins in your diet daily). And sometimes, with our generally busy lifestyles it’s hard to reach this amount without 3 balanced meals per day. A clean protein supplement can really help meet these requirements!!
A review of scientific literature shows that whey concentrate (~80% protein) is simply the best protein supplement available on the market. Indeed it is more rapidly and more extensively digested and assimilated by the body than any other source of proteins like casein and vegetal proteins (soya, rice hemp) (Gilani GS et al., 2014) (Tang JE). Moreover whey also has, very probably, the best amino acid (AAs) profile for our health among all the proteins available in nature.
Like Protelicious’ whey, the best whey concentrates are obtained by microfiltration at low temperature (cold-processing) and without applying extreme pH (acid or basic) as it is used in the “ion exchanges” process. Most of the whey encountered on the market are processed with heat and/or strong acids or basis which both denature and oxidize the key amino acids (AAs) which have strong benefits for our health.
Furthermore Protelicious whey comes from grass-fed cows without pesticides or hormones which is a key product feature also not commonly found in the majority of similar products on the market.
Altogether the clean and traceable sourcing of Protelicious whey and it’s high quatlity ingredients (the best cocoa powder or pure freeze-dried strawberries and that’s all!) combined with the protective process, that maintains all the amino acids, used for obtaining our whey, permit us to bring all the following benefits that serious scientific teams worldwide have shown, especially through clinical human studies.
Whey proteins contribute to increase the muscle mass (the lean mass in opposition to fat mass) and thus improves physical performance and energy. For this the body needs a minimum of exercise and an intake of at least 1-1.2 g of protein per kg of body weight per day (Burke DG et al., 2001). Scientific studies show that whey intake stimulates muscle protein synthesis to a greater degree than other proteins such as casein and soy. (Devries MC et al., 2015) (Phillips SM, 2003. Whey, more and more, is being proposed as the protein source of choice to maintain muscle mass in the elderly (sarcopenia: diminishment of muscle mass after age 65) who should consume 1.2-1.5g of protein per kg of body weight per day (Lancha AH et al., 2016) (Luiking YC et al., 2014). Furthermore, whey can also contribute significantly to slimming down by mainly two mechanisms. Firstly, after ingestion whey provokes the liberation of gut peptides that induce satiety (Hall W et al., 2003). Secondly, after a few weeks of intake, whey also improves the ratio of lean mass versus fat mass when associated with exercise thus improving our silhouette and health.
Prolonged imbalances in our food habits, lifestyle (smoke, stress) and environmental factors (pollution) assault our cells by several biochemical reactions globally called oxidation. Oxidation of cells can be compared to metals rusting when exposed to oxygen. Prolonged oxidation (called oxidative stress) and associated chronic inflammation together can cause the onset of different pathologies that go from simple disorders (decrease of skin quality, flu, colds..) to the serious inflammatory diseases: cardiovascular (atherosclerosis), cancer, neuro-degenerative diseases and others as well as aging.
Antioxidants found in vitamins, polyphenols/flavonoids present in fruit & vegetables and many supplements on the market are beneficial to fight against oxidation and aging but they are consumed or “burned” during oxidation and not regenerated. On the contrary, with its exceptional richness in sulfur amino acids (cysteine, methionine), our grass fed whey (cold process) will boost the synthesis of glutathione (GSH) which is the master antioxidant in the body and GSH is regenerated by our cells (Bounous G and Gold P. 1991).
With its richness in essential amino acids (EAAs) and, in particular, sulfur amino acids (cysteine, methionine), whey protein will boost our immunity by improving immunoglobulin synthesis and by optimizing the activity of white blood cells (like lymphocytes) which improve both the identification and destruction of harmful bacteria and virus’ (Droge W et Breitkreutz R, 2000).
The liver is the big cleaner of your body and this is in good part thanks to the high amount of GSH in hepatic cells. GSH can be considered as the best scavenger in the body and detoxifies the body from thousands of toxic compounds such as aldehydes, pesticides, heavy metals, endocrine disruptors. Furthermore, diets rich in sugar and fats produce a high amount of inflammatory compounds through digestion that deplete GSH cell content. To replenish our liver GSH pool, our body needs precursors for the synthesis of this GSH, in particular sulfur amino (AAs) acids like cysteine and methionine which are present in large amounts in whey.
More and more works review or investigate the effects of whey on metabolic function, including blood pressure, vascular function, glucose and lipid metabolism, and inflammation (Fekete ÁA et al., 2016).
There is increasing evidence supporting the potential use of whey protein in medical & nutritional therapies to manage glycemia by various biochemical and physiological pathways including the activity of insulin (Adams RL et al., 2016) (Mignone LE et al., 2015). Analysis of several trials also showed that whey supplementation significantly reduced blood triglycerides (Pal S et al., 2010a). Some studies have demonstrated that whey protein supplementation improves blood pressure and vascular function in overweight persons (Pal S et al., 2010b).
At each hour of the day hormones are at work for sending messages throughout our bodies. Hormones are synthesized by the body using amino acids which are the building blocks of protein so, once again, meeting your daily protein requirement (at least 1 g/kg of body weight) is essential for health and wellbeing. Hormones are very important in the regulation of mood and stress as well as sleep quality. Among them, serotonin has a central importance to
regulate our body cycles and our mood, while melatonin is necessary to find a renovator sleep. The EAA tryptophan is an unavoidable key precursor of the formation of these 2 hormones but is less common than other AAs in food proteins. However, whey has a very high concentration of the AA tryptophan in comparison to many sources of proteins.
Whey is also rich in glutamic acid, an AA that can easily be converted by the body into glutamine. Glutamine greatly participates in the regeneration of intestinal cells and intestine health and digestion. Antioxidants like vitamin E and GSH also contribute to the good function and health of intestinal cells as well as protecting cells junctions thus avoiding or decreasing the passage of toxic and allergenic molecules. The link between intestinal permeability, asthma and allergies has been identified and is still under investigation and debate.
Leaky gut, or intestinal permeability is a condition in which intestinal cells (bearing the microvilli) become damaged and lose their tightness, causing undigested food particles, toxins, allergens and bacteria to leak through the intestine and pass into the bloodstream. These molecules and bacteria, once in the blood, can reach distant organs and cause inflammation, allergic reactions and auto-immune responses.
A few studies have already shown the interest of whey in improving leaky gut (Brimelow RE et al., 2017) and decreasing inflammation (Kuhara T et al., 2014). In one study in particular, on patients with Crohn disease, the consumption of 0.5 g/kg of body weight/day of glutamine for 2 months improved intestinal permeability (assessed by the lactulose mannitol excretion ratio in urine) and morphology improved significantly in both groups (Benjamin J, et al., 2012).
Adams RL, Broughton KS. Insulinotropic Effects of Whey: Mechanisms of Action, Recent Clinical Trials, and Clinical Applications. Ann Nutr Metab. 2016;69(1):56-63.
Baer DJ, Stote KS, Paul DR, Harris GK, Rumpler WV, Clevidence BA. Whey protein but not soy protein supplementation alters body weight and composition in free-living overweight and obese adults. J Nutr. 2011 Aug;141(8):1489-94.
Benjamin J, Makharia G, Ahuja V, Anand Rajan KD, Kalaivani M, Gupta SD, Joshi YK. Glutamine and whey protein improve intestinal permeability and morphology in patients with Crohn's disease: a randomized controlled trial. Dig Dis Sci. 2012 Apr;57(4):1000-12.
Brimelow RE, West NP, Williams LT, Cripps AW, Cox AJ. A role for whey-derived lactoferrin and immunoglobulins in the attenuation of obesity-related inflammation and disease. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2017 May 24;57(8):1593-1602.
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Luiking YC, Deutz NE, Memelink RG, Verlaan S, Wolfe RR. Postprandial muscle protein synthesis is higher after a high whey protein, leucine-enriched supplement than after a dairy-like product in healthy older people: a randomized controlled trial. Nutr J. 2014 Jan 22;13:9.
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Pennings B, Boirie Y, Senden JM, Gijsen AP, Kuipers H, van Loon LJ. Whey protein stimulates postprandial muscle protein accretion more effectively than do casein and casein hydrolysate in older men. Am J Clin Nutr. 2011 May;93(5):997-1005.
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