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Bioactive Whey Protein

The MaxGXL patent, filed by by Dr. Robert Keller on July 17, 2001, mentions the inclusion of a "biologically active whey protein composition comprising an undenatured whey protein concentrate obtained from raw milk", but this ingredient does not appear to be in MaxGXL. According to the patent, Max GXL can be combined beneficially (and may act synergystically) with with bioactive whey proteins such as Immunocal.

Q: What is Bioactive Whey Protein?

A: Bioactive whey protein is a highly concentrated milk serum isolate or concentrate which is high in protein (80 to 90% protein by weight) and is carbohydrate and sugar-free, and fat-free or very low in fat content. Some brands (Immunocal) are also lactose-free. Bioactive whey protein shares many of the same immune promoting and enhancing properties that are present in Mother's milk. Bioactive whey protein has been clinically proven to increase serum and tissue glutathione levels. Glutathione is a natural antioxidant, immune system enhancer, and detoxifier. Bioactive whey protein is validated by clinical research, including numerous published scientific studies and review articles which appear in the medical literature (MEDLINE). Bioactive whey protein has been demonstrated to enhance both healthy and deficient immune systems, is safe in overactive immune conditions (autoimmune disease), and is validated as an effective nutritional supplement by the medical community.

Q: What effects potency of Bioactive Whey Protein?

A: There are several factors affecting the functional properties of whey proteins. These include the origin of whey, season-dependent variations of its components, and the techniques used to process the whey, including heat treatments, pH, exposure to humidity, and mechanical agitation, all of which can damage the delicate proteins in whey and reduce its bioactivity (Paulsson, 1990; Zhu and Damodaran, 1994; Haque and Sharma, 1997; Ju et al., 1997). Because bioactive whey proteins which are packaged in containers or tubs expose the whey proteins to humidity when the tubs are opened (and allow for degradation of the product), it is recommended that bioactive whey proteins packaged for single use (like Immunocal) be selected to ensure maximum potency.

Q: Is there a difference between whey protein concentrate and isolate?

A: Yes, there may be a large difference between the two. Whey protein isolate is the most pure and the concentrated form of whey protein available. It contains 90% or more protein and very little (if any) fat and lactose. An example of whey protein isolate is Immunocal.

Whey protein concentrate has anywhere between 29% and 89% protein depending upon the product, and tends to be less biologically active. As the protein level in whey protein concentrate decreases the amounts of fat and/or lactose usually increase.

Q: What else effects the bioactivity of bioactive whey proteins?

A: The immune enhancing and glutathione enhancing properties of whey proteins are only available if the processing of the original milk protein is done properly (i.e. the proteins can be destroyed or denatured and the active peptides lost can be lost by high-heat pasteurization and high speed mechanical agitation (homogenization) [Bounos et al. 1991, Enomoto et al. 1993]. The processing of milk must be done in a way to effectively separate out the whey proteins from the lactose, fat and other milk components without damaging them. This can include lyophilization (freeze drying) and very low heat pasteurization and bio-filtering of the raw milk.

Q: What types of bioactivity of bioactive whey proteins are available?

A: Whey protein concentrates are processed at low temperatures and low acid conditions. They can contain as much as 70% to 80% percent protein, with small amounts of lactose and minimal fats. In addition, low tempature and low acid filtration ensures that about 90% - 96% of this protein is undenatured. It also retains most of the active peptides.

Some of the isolation procedures (ion-exchange procedures) can lead to a denaturation or a loss of the important peptides contained in whey. Ion exchange whey protein isolates may therefore be higher in protein percentage but may not offer the same immune enhancing and muscle building benefits as the lower protein whey concentrates.

Cross flow micro (CFM) filtration methods have been developed in order to prevent the problems seen with ion exchange proteins. This method is used in the production of a whey protein called Immunocal and is the best method for whey protein concentration and isolation, without damaging the fragile bioactive proteins. This method produces a whey protein isolate that is greater than 90% protein with no fat or lactose. However, unlike ion exchange proteins, CFM proteins are at least 99% undenatured and additionally retain all of the important bioactive peptides. Additionally, the calcium content of CFM whey protein is high and this is an important benefit in high protein diets.

Q: What are other benefits of bioactive whey proteins?

A: Whey proteins are complete proteins, are very easily digestible, are highly bioavailable, and supply the body with essential amino acids required for good health. Whey proteins provide excellent nutrition for active teens, healthy adults and the elderly alike.

Whey protein, once thought to be a useless by-product of cheese production, has recently become one of the most popular protein supplements by body builders, competitive athletes, and folks with immune challenges. This is due, in part, to the development of several methods for distilling whey into a high-quality powder that is pratically fat- and lactose-free. Although it's the most expensive of the three protein powders (whey, casein and soy), whey has a number of specific advantages over the other powdered protein supplements.

Whey Proteins are digested much faster and much more easily than less advanced proteins. This is important in folks with gastrointestinal problems, who are taking medications which lower natural stomach acid (H2 blockers like Zantac and Pepsid). Increased absorption of whey proteins has been shown to result in increased plasma amino acid and protein synthesis attributes, which makes it whey an important part of the healthy diet.

Whey proteins are high-biological-value proteins and have the highest protein efficiency ration (PER), a marker of the biological value, purity, and usability of a particular protein by the body. Individuals with kidney disease must select proteins with a high PER to reduce the amount of waste products following the digestion of a given protein. Scientific research has demonstrated that whey protein has the highest biological value (BV) of any protein. Biological value is a measure of "protein power and efficiency". The Whey Protein Institute's website gives a biological value of 100 to whey protein (a perfect score), 80 to casein and 74 to soy protein concentrate.

The primary component proteins in whey are beta-lactoglobulin and alpha-lactoglobulin, which are two small proteins that account for about 70 to 80% of total proteins which comprise whey protein. Proteins which are found in lesser amounts (the remaining 20-30% by weight). These proteins have high therapeutic values. include the immunoglobulins IgG, IgA and IgM, IgG, glycomacropeptides, bovine serum albumin (BSA), lactoferrin, lactoperoxidase and lysozyme. Whey proteins also contain smaller peptides derived from various proteins which are called biopeptides.

Whey Proteins are vitally important in body cell repair and growth and provide all of the essential Amino Acids in sufficient amounts for a healthy diet.

Bioactive whey proteins have been extensively studied, and have shown benefits in numerous small clinical trials. Based on these data, and the original patent of MaxGXL, bioactive whey protein isolates like Immunocal should be an excellent and safe addition to a regimen of MaxGXL. A recommended source of Bioactive Whey Protein is found here

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