Whey protein is a substance that – as the name suggests – comes from whey and that is used for many different purposes, including in supplements for dieters and body builders, among others. There are many names for whey protein and any of them can be used on an ingredients list for a product that contains it.
Among the possible names for whey protein include: fraction de lactoserum, bovine whey protein concentrate, goat whey, concentre de protein de petit-lait bovin, goat milk whey, lactoserum de lait de chevre, and several others. The list is actually quite long.
Whey is the liquid part of milk. When making cheese, milk is separated into the whey and the curds (the solid part). Whey protein is just as it sounds: the protein that is found within the whey.
This is used for many different purposes in medicine. For instance, athletes and bodybuilders often use it to help build their muscle and athletic performance. It is also used as a food supplement and people who are lactose intolerant will often use it is a milk substitute. Some milk-based infant formulas use it as a supplement. That said, just as some people use it to help them to lose weight, others use it to help them to stop losing weight, as is the case among people who have certain medical conditions. People with HIV may use this substance to boost their glutathione (GSH) levels.
There are many other reasons that whey protein is used but the primary focus of this review is its use for weight loss.
The main feature of whey protein is the fact that it is a source of protein which could help to improve a diet that does not have enough of that macronutrient. This substance may also have an impact on the immune system, but that has yet to be fully proven.
In terms of the research that has been conducted, the majority indicates that taking this substance along with a healthy exercise plan and improved diet does not appear to have any positive impact on the rate of weight loss. When compared to a control group, obese and overweight patients appeared to lose weight at the same rate regardless of whether or not they were taking whey protein.
Equally, some research has shown that whey protein may help to improve the body composition of overweight adults when taken with a modified diet and regular exercise. Therefore, they may not be losing weight faster, but they may be losing fat and building lean muscle more quickly. Over time, that could potentially lead to better weight management. Further study is needed.