Nutritional and Medical Perspectives of Whey Protein: A Historical Overview
Whey nowadays considered as nutritional power house of future. Presently, whey mainly used as energy base drinks for sportsman and for therapeutic application in many countries. The two primary sources of protein in milk are the caseins and whey. After processing occurs, the caseins are the proteins responsible for making curds, while whey remains in an aqueous environment. Whey protein is a reliable source of amino acids and biologically active proteins which act as a nutritional supplement. The components of whey include beta lactoglobulin, alpha lactoalbumin, bovine serum albumin, lactoferrin, immunoglobluins, lactoperoxidase enzymes, glycomacropeptides, lactose, and minerals. Whey proteins have a high amount of branched chain amino acids such as leucine, isoleucine, and valine. These are also rich in the sulfur-containing amino acids cysteine and methionine, which enhance immune functions through their intracellular conversion to glutathione. The present review paper gives information about the potential beneficial properties of whey protein and focuses on using whey protein supplementation as an immuno-modulator, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic, anti-cancer. In this context, the current review presented that whey protein supplementation is shown to maintain a high concentration of cellular antioxidants and boost immune defenses that promote carcinogen detoxification. Due to the positive findings, whey protein supplementation is starting to be viewed as a non-pharmaceutical adjunct therapy in the treatment of cancer. Also, whey protein provides an abundant supply of essential amino acids to organs and tissues, which stimulates tissue regenerative mechanisms and help minimize immune suppression.
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