|that is not a
by-product of cheese manufacturing and therefore the bioavailability
of the lactoferrin is maintained.
However, excess iron is a risk as
well, although not as common. Some complications associated with
this disorder are: bacterial infections, diarrhea, gastrointestinal
disorders, and even iron-toxicity. Several of these complications
arise from the body’s ingestion of unbound iron. Iron that is bound
to lactoferrin is much easier to absorb in the body and utilize, and
is not lost through human excretions or through other organisms in
the body. Iron not bound in the body is a catalyst for the
production of free radicals, which have a negative effect on the
body’s biology. Lactoferrin is an important part of the body's
natural defense. Studies show that it inhibits the binding of
pathogens like H. pylori and E. coli to the intestinal wall. Many
micro-organisms need iron for growth, by limiting the levels of free
iron; lactoferrin can inhibit bacterial growth and assist to deprive
them of iron. The pathogens cellular structure loses its integrity
because of the iron deprivation and necrosis
The first major entrance of
lactoferrin in the health industry was prompted by a paper written
by an AIDS researcher discussing the importance of lactoferrin as a
regulator of the immune response in people with AIDS. Recent studies
have shown that lactoferrin can also inhibit the growth of the HIV
There have been several; studies proving lactoferrin
to be an extremely beneficial substance. The antibacterial
properties have been well documented. A study by the Institute of
Public Health in Tokyo, Japan showed that E. coli 0157:H7 can falter
under influence of the anti microbial effects of bovine lactoferrin.
Another well documented study by the National Cancer Institute in
Tokyo, Japan concluded that bovine lactoferrin inhibits the
Hepatitis C infection in human cells. This is of major importance
for Hepatitis C has been found to be the main causative factor in
chronic viral hepatitis. Lactoferrin seems to inhibit the absorption
of the viral particle to the human cell by binding to the cell
receptor site or to the virus.
Lactoferrin has a broad range of benefits, it
enhances and modulates immune-function overall, as well as has many
iron-enhancing and modulating benefits. Furthermore, it has been
said to act as an immunostimulating factor in the digestive system,
as well as an inhibitor of the growth of many unhealthy
micro-organisms in the digestive tract. Lactoferrin regulates the
immune response of the body in many differing ways. It inhibits many
viruses from thriving in the body and is essentially an important
component in immune-therapy. Healthy Planet Vitamins provides an
excellent source of non-denatured lactoferrin in its most
biologically available state.
Immunoglobulins (IgG) are proteins that are
present in bovine whey protein. One of their functions is as a
transporter of antibodies against harmful microorganisms like
viruses, bacteria's, and other foreign invaders. IgG has been used
to treat diseases such as multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis,
hepatitis A, anemia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and chickenpox, among
others. IgG are essential elements in maintaining a humans immunity
from detrimental microorganisms and toxins. This substance is
transferred from mother to child inside of the womb via the mother’s
blood to protect him/her from the introduction of pathogens in the
outside world. This way the child is born with a passive immunity.
IgG works together and separately to battle antigens. They circulate
in the blood and lymphatic systems or they reside in the mucous
membranes to act as a barrier against invaders.
immunoglobulins are of a critical importance because several
bacteria's become more resistant to antibiotics every day. These
bacteria infect our food supply and there are more viruses created
at a faster rate than the vaccines used to battle them, science
consistently has to catch up. More and more diseases are being
linked to bacterial infection, including peptic ulcers and heart
disease. In fact, there is strong evidence linked between bacterial
infection and heart disorders. (1).Healthy Planet Vitamins with
their high amounts of IgG plays a role in the combat or these
How The Body Utilizes IgG
Our body's first line of immune defense to
unhealthy organisms is through the intestinal tract (2). The IgG has
been found to resist break down by the digestive enzymes within the
digestive tract (due to the glycoprotein’s and trypsin inhibitors),
therefore the IgG enters the intestinal wall fully intact where they
defend the lining against invading organisms, and prevent the
absorption of foreign proteins. The IgG is a factor in increasing
the immune system activity level. This substance is vital in
stabilizing and restoring a damaged intestinal tract so it can
function at its optimum capacity for nutrient absorption and
The antibodies derived from bovine milk have
many of the mothers milk IgG characteristics and may be active
against the same diseases in humans. Immunoglobulins consist of four
polypeptide chains with two of the same heavy chains linked by
covalent and non-covalent bridges. The light and heavy chains both
have areas with constant amino acids and with a variable region.
This variable region is where the antibody meets the antigen
(foreign molecule). The bovine milk antigens are resistant to the
peptic digestion processes, which is essential for using a
non-denatured whey protein abundant in IgG proteins (3).
1. G. Bauriedel, et
al.Chlamydia pnuemoniae in coronary plagues. Increased detection
with acute coronary syndrome. Dtsch Med Wochenssch 124(13) (April 1,
1999): 37-80; FL Visseren, et al. Atherosclerosis as an infectious
disease. Ned Tijdschr Geneeskdl 143(6) (Feb 6, 1999): 291-95; J.
Danesch, et al. Is helicobacter pylori a factor in atherosclerosis?
J Clin Microbiol 37(5) )May, 1999): 1651; Dp Strachan, et al.,
Relation of Chlamydia pneumonia serology to mortality and incidence
of ischaemic over 13 years in the caerphilly prospective heart
disease study. Br Med J 318(7190) (April 17, 1999): 1035-39; Norman
Watner, The Salt lake Tribune June 1, 1996.
2. Guyton AC.
Protein Metabolism. In: Textbook of Medical Physiology 8th edition.
Philadelphia (PA): WB Saunders; 1991.
3. Watson DL.
Immunologic functions of the mammary gland and its secretion -
Comparative review. Aust J Biol Sci 1980; 33:402-422
In the fight against disease, immune
depressed individuals have lower GSH levels. Lymphocytes, cells
vital for your immune response, depend on GSH for their proper
function and replication. Immunology 61: 503-508 1987.
Cellular depletion of Glutathione has been implicated as a
cause, or contributory factor in many pathologies including
Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, cataracts, arteriosclerosis, cystic
fibrosis, malnutrition, aging, AIDS, and cancer (Bounous et al.,
1991). In addition, Glutathione is vital in supporting the immune
system, including natural killer cells (Droege et al., 1997), as
well as the maintenance of T-lymphocytes (Gutman, 1998).
GSH plays a role in eliminating many
carcinogens, as well as maintaining immune function towards
providing stronger anti-tumor defenses. Cancer Letters 57: 91-94
It is well documented that
as we age there is precipitous drop in GSH levels. Lower Glutathione
levels are implicated in many diseases associated with aging;
Cataracts, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's, arteriosclerosis, as
well as others. Journal of Clinical Epidemiology 47: 1021-28
Strong muscular activity
generates oxyradicals leading to muscle fatigue and poorer
performance. GSH neutralizes these radicals. Whey proteins promotes
muscular development. Sports Medicine 21; 213 - 238, 1996.
Recent studies indicate that propensities toward many
degenerative diseases and aging itself are related to the capacity
of the cell to robustly recover from oxidative insult. The capacity
of a cell to recover from such insult can be determined by measuring
the intracellular stores of Glutathione. (Noelle et al., 1981)
Antioxidants are well
documented to play a vital role in health maintenance and disease
prevention. GSH is our cell's own major antioxidant. We should use
what is natural. Biochemical Pharmacology 47:2113-2123
Low GSH has been
demonstrated in nuerodegenerative diseases such as MS (Multiple
Sclerosis), ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease), Alzheimer's, and
Parkinson's, among others. The Lancel 344: 796-798 1994
Toxins, Pollution, Radiation
GSH detoxifies many
pollutants, carcinogens and poisons, including many in fuel exhaust
and cigarette smoke. It retards damage from radiation such as seen
with loss of the ozone. Annual Review of Biochemistry 52: 711-780
1983. The liver is the main detoxification organ of the body. In
the liver we find very high concentrations of GSH, as it is a major
factor in numerous biochemical detoxification pathways. Numerous
studies have demonstrated that patients with compromised liver
function due to alcohol abuse have significant reduction of GSH in
the liver. (Lamest, 1995)
Glutathione levels with poor survival in AIDS patients. Much
literature has been written demonstrating the role of enhancing GSH
levels in AIDS. Proc. National Acad. Science USA 94: 2967-72
1. Biochemical Pharmacology 47:2113-2123
2. Droege W, Holm E. Role of cysteine and glutathione
HIV-wasting and other diseases associated with muscle wasting and
immunoglobulin function. FASEB J 1997;
3. WHEY PROTEIN REPORT, Current Concepts on
Whey Protein Usage, Prepared for The Cleveland Eye Clinic, by: David
Marshall, Jr., O.D., Ph.D., Consult
Bovine Serum Albumin,
Bovine serum albumin enhances pregastric
lipase's, promoting more efficient newborn digestion, further it
also binds fatty acids in the body. More essential is that it
contains an appreciable amount of cysteine, which is the molecular
precursor to glutathione.
Alpha-lactalbumin is the
subunit of lactose synthesis the enzyme which catalyzes the addition
of galactose to glucose to create lactose*. It is possible this may
aid in infant digestion of milk. It also contains cysteine, though
not in as great a ratio as bovine serum
Beta-lactoglobulin is involved with the
transfer of passive immunity and the binding of retinol and fatty
acids. This binding allows for the efficient uptake of fats by the
The presence of beta-lactoglobulin and
alpha-lactalbumin protein in milk is a major cause for allergic
reaction in humans. Subsequently, those with true milk allergies to
milk protein should not ingest these milk proteins and should
caution their use in any form. Lactose intolerance is not a factor
in this allergic response. Typically lactose intolerance presents
itself as diarrhea from the excess consumption of lactose (this can
vary from individual to individual). Healthy Planet Vitamins purest
proteins contain low levels (0.3g per 5g serving) of lactose and
this is well below the tolerance level for most people.
Facts and Applications
The word Protein means “first
substance”. Our first protein food was found in our mother’s milk.
Milk is the only food designed specifically to optimally sustain the
life of a mammal. In fact, the root word for nutrition means to
suckle. As a species, we would not have survived if not
for the nutrition and protection mother’s milk offers.
is one of the two protein groups found in milk. It is a liquid
complex consisting of a wide range of proteins. The other protein
group is casein, which curds are made from and
then processed into cheese.
Whey is an original complete
protein food and is considered number one for building and
regenerating our bodies and maintaining a strong immune
system. Our entire metabolic process relies on the intake
of complete protein. We cycle proteins into amino acids
Hippocrates, the Greek physician of the 5th
century B.C., the “father of medicine”, stated that the body has an
inner adaptive or healing power. To strengthen this healing power,
he prescribed serum (liquid whey) to his patients. It was true
non-denatured, native whey. It provided full biological activity and
numerous health benefits. All commercial whey proteins available now
are derived from extensively processed milk and incomparable to the
vitality in that 2500 year-old prescription.
appropriate to review some important definitions of terms
Native Protein: The naturally occurring
conformation of a protein. Unaltered by
heat, chemicals, enzyme action or processing. (Native is the same
structure and proportion as in the original
Denatured: To cause the tertiary structure
of (a protein) to unfold, as with heat, alkali, or acid, so that
some of its original properties, especially its biological activity,
are diminished or eliminated. (It means
Undenatured: To undamage. (A term that is
used without discretion in the industry and is misleading. It is not
possible for a protein to be
Non-denatured: The same structure and
proportion as in the original substance with full biological
activity. (Never damaged.)
Presently, the various commercial
methods of processing whey do not improve or even maintain the
fragile immune modulating and regenerative components or the
biological activity that was originally in the milk. They all
originate from the manufacturing of cheese and are
There are three commercial production methods,
which comprise the majority of available whey proteins. They are
isolates (the most popular), ion-exchange and hydrolyzed forms. They
are all ultrafiltered, cross-flow filtered or microfiltered via
elaborate patented methods developed by large dairies. The milk used
in these three methods undergoes major processing that involves high
heat (163 degrees F) and drastic acidification of the whey to
produce curds for manufacturing cheese. These steps denature
(damage) the proteins. What is then required is extensive filtration
to remove the many denatured proteins in order to produce the
highest percentage of protein. Unfortunately the fragile vital
protein components, which determine the biological activity of the
protein, are not retained. The terms undenatured and cold-process
are prevalent with these commercial products, but once a protein is
denatured it is not possible to undenature it.
point in regard to the quality and effectiveness of whey is that the
full range of biological activity and proportion of the protein
components be preserved in their original native form as nature
provided. Only whey that is not involved in cheese manufacture can
achieve that goal. Additionally, the health of the milking cows and
quality of the milk is the foundation of this type of
Non-denatured whey protein has the highest
biological value of any protein. It is a complete protein, unlike
soy, and provides all the essential amino acids in the correct
balance. The five major active proteins of whey are lactoferrin,
immunoglobulins, bovine serum albumin, alpha-lactalbumin and
beta-lactoglobulin. There are many whey products available;
therefore it is highly advisable to have in writing from the
manufacturer, the treatment of the cows, the entire processing the
milk undergoes and if cheese is part of the original production.
Also request a written laboratory analysis that lists the percentage
values for each individual protein. An analysis that groups two or
more proteins together with a percentage number is very questionable
and worthless to a discriminating professional or
Covalent Bonded Cysteine (the
non-denatured form), is the critical amino acid required for
the all-important intracellular production of the antioxidant
glutathione (GSH). Glutathione is our body’s master antioxidant and
is responsible for numerous defense and repair functions and is an
effective antiaging substance. Glutathione is best utilized when we
produce it internally. Cysteine is very scarce in our modern diet
and therefore glutathione production is limited and deficiency is
prevalent. If cysteine undergoes any heating or processing, as all
commercial whey products do, it is denatured and converted to
cystine. Covalent-bonded cysteine, active peptides, anabolic growth
factors and enzymes are also present in non-denatured native whey,
as there is no processing to denature them.
is now becoming more aware of the value of quality protein and is
choosing whey protein for many good reasons. Not only does
non-denatured whey have a wide range of immune-enhancing properties,
it also has the ability to act as an antioxidant, antihypertensive,
antitumor, antiviral and antibacterial. A number of clinical trials
have successfully been performed using whey as an antimicrobial
agent and in the treatment of cancer, HIV, hepatitis B & C,
cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis. It has a major role in red
blood cell production, support in chemotherapy treatment, safe
binding and detoxification of heavy metals, wound healing, growth of
new muscle, weight regulation and the support of numerous immune
functions. It is used by populations that have Chronic Fatigue
Syndrome (CFS), Fibromyalgia, Hepatitis, Cancer, HIV/AIDS,
Respiratory disease, cognitive disorder from nutritional compromise
and for any sports performance improvement.
Dr. Lawrence Sosna Graduated first in his class
from the Fairfield College of Myopractics and Naturopathic Medicine.
He is a N.D. and has a PhD in Myology with an emphasis in
Orthomolecular Biochemistry. He strictly practices Integrative
Medicine - his research field being cellular regeneration,
Anti-Aging and bio-identical comprehensive hormone replacement
therapy. Dr. Sosna lectures on these topics at symposiums all over
the world. Recently Dr. Sosna has been appointed Dean of the
College of Naturopathic Medicine in Encinitas
Whey Protein Facts and
Bonang G, Monintja HE,
Sujudi, van der Waaij D. Influence of breastmilk on the development
of resistance to intestinal colonization in infants born at the Atma
Jaya Hospital, Jakarta. Scand J Infect Dis
Bounous G. Whey Protein concentrate and
glutathione modulation in cancer treatment, Anticancer Res.
Bounous G, Kongshavn PA. Influence of dietary
proteins on the immune system of mice. J Nutr
Bounous G, Gervais F, Amer V, et al.
The influence of dietary whey protein on tissue glutathione and the
diseases of aging. Clin Invest Med
Bowen J, Noakes M, Clifton P. Whey
Protein and body fat loss. Asia Pac J Clinical Nut. 2003;
Crinnion WJ. Environmental medicine, part 2 – health
effects of and protection from ubiquitous airborne solvent exposure.
Altern Med Rev 2000;5:133-143.
Guimont C, Marchall E,
Girardet JM, Linden G. Biologically active factors in bovine milk
and dairy byproducts: influence on cell culture. Crit Rev Food
Sci Nutr 1997;37:393-410.
Ha E, Zemel MB. Functional
properties of whey, whey components, and essential amino acids:
mechanisms underlying health benefits for active people (review).
J Nutr Biochem 2003;14:251-258.
Hakkak R, Korourian S,
Ronis MJ, et al. Dietary whey protein protects against
azoxymethane-induced colon tumors in male rats. Cancer Epidemiol
Biomarkers Prev 2001;10:555-558.
Jones EM, Smart A,
Bloomberg G, et al. Lactoferricin, a new antimicrobial peptide. J
Appl Bacteriol 1994;77:208-214.
Kawase M, Hashimoto H,
Hosoda M, et al. Effect of administration of fermented milk
containing whey protein concentrate to rats and healthy men on serum
lipids and blood pressure. J Dairy Sci
Kennedy RS, Konok GP, Bounous G, et al.
The use of a whey protein concentrate in the treatment of patients
with metastatic carcinoma: a phase I-II clinical trial study.
Anticancer Res 1995;15:2643-2649.
Jefferson LS. Control of protein synthesis by amino acid
availability. Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care
Lands LC, Grey VL, Smountas AA. Effect of
supplementation with a cysteine donor on muscular performance. J
Appl Physiol 1999;87:1381-1385.
Laursen I, Briand P,
Lykkesfeldt AE. Serum albumin as a modulator on growth of the human
breast cancer cell line MCF-7. Anticancer Res
Levay PF, Viljoen M. Lactoferrin: a
general review. Haematologica 1995;80:252-267.
CR, Olivier B, de Haan EH. Whey protein rich in alpha-lactalbumin
increases the ratio of plasma tryptophan to the sum of the other
large neutral amino acids and improves cognitive performance in
stress-vulnerable subjects. Am J Clin Nutr
Marshall David Jr., O.D., Ph.D. WHEY
PROTEIN REPORT - Review of Various Whey Protein. Current Concepts on
Whey Protein Usage.
Micke P, Beeh KM, Buhl R. Effects of
longterm supplementation with whey proteins on plasma glutathione
levels of HIV-infected patients. Eur J Nutr
Sawatzki G, Rich IN. Lactoferrin
stimulates colony stimulating factor production in vitro and
in vivo. Blood Cells 1989;15:371-385.
GW, McIntosh GH, Regester GO, et al. Anti-cancer effects of dietary
whey proteins. Proceedings of the Second International Whey
Shah NP. Effects of
milk-derived bioactives: an overview. Br J Nutr
2000;84:S3-S10. Sundberg J, Ersson B, Lonnerdal B, Oskarsson A.
Protein binding of mercury in milk and plasma from mice and man – a
comparison between methylmercury and inorganic mercury.
Takada Y, Aoe S, Kumegawa M.
Whey protein stimulated the proliferation and differentiation of
osteoblastic MC3T3-E1 cells. Biochem Biophys Res Commun
Tsuda H, Sekine K, Ushida Y, et al.
Milk and dairy products in cancer prevention: focus on bovine
lactoferrin. Mutat Res 2000;462:227-233.
Okada K, Shimizu Y, et al. Nutritional therapy of chronic hepatitis
by whey protein (non-heated). J Med
Walzem RL, Dillard CJ, German JB. Whey
components: millennia of evolution create functionalities for
mammalian nutrition: what we know and what we may be overlooking.
Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr 2002;42:353-375.
Aoe S, Toba Y, et al. Milk basic protein (MBP) increases radial bone
mineral density in healthy adult women. Biosci Biotechnol Biochem
Proteins Duke it
Out for Prominence,
but Only One is a True
Although debated for years, it is
now not merely a widely held belief, but an accepted fact, that
athletes and people who exercise need more protein than sedentary
non-exercising individuals.1-9 But as protein has gained in
popularity and finally assumed its rightful place as king of the
macronutrients, a new war has begun. The battlefield has been drawn,
pitting all available sources of protein against each other in an
all-out brawl to see which rules. In the words of Apollo Creed- when
he was set to face the Italian Stallion- "Sounds like a damn monster
movie!" Of course, if you've been paying attention to the media, you
know that two top contenders have emerged.
Hold the fort down fight fans, and
let's get ready to rumble! In the blue corner, a lower quality
protein weighing in without all the essential amino acids, a
debatable cardio-protective effect, and a known and worrisome
phytoestrogen content soy protein. In the red corner, the highest
quality and biologics value protein, weighing in with all the
essential amino acids, immune enhancing powers, and offering greater
cancer protection than soy - whey protein!
Sounds like a mismatch to me. Of all
the protein sources out there, you might wonder why these two have
emerged as top dogs. The answer is that whey protein is in
contention as a result of a wellspring of supporting research and
scientific fact. Soy protein, on the other hand, has emerged for
honors simply because of clever exaggerations of flimsy studies, as
well as misleading propaganda driven by a powerful and profit
oriented soy lobby.
Sorry soy enthusiasts, if I've
touched a sore spot. But let's examine this issue further and
include the important basic differences, as well as some of the
latest research on both these proteins.
The Big Lie
First of all, I'm tired of hearing all this
garbage about soy being a complete protein (meaning it contains all
the essential amino acids our bodies can't synthesize from other
sources and must instead directly consume). Don't let anyone shove
this lie down your throat. Soy protein is not a complete protein
because it lacks the amino acid methionine. This is a non-debatable
Whey protein, on the other hand,
lacks no essential amino acids. As a result, it has a much higher
biological value in terms of similarity to our own human protein.
Whey protein beats soy protein hands down in this category simply
because whey protein needs no fortification or additive to make it
complete. It is complete in its natural form.
Perhaps the greatest coup for soy
fans of late was approval by the FDA for soy-containing products to
be listed as able to reduce the risk of heart disease This
government seal of approval was not only premature, but also
potentially dangerous. There was, and still is, no solid scientific
research to back such cavalier support by our government. I wonder
how a government steeped in the practice of forcing products to be
thoroughly researched and tested before claims can be made, would do
something so reckless.
The fact is, soy has no more
impressive research to support such broad-based government support
than that which supports whey protein in the area of heart health.
The research supporting soy as cardio-protective is almost
completely epidemiological and observational across broad spectrums
of the population. In fact, as far as whey protein is concerned,
nearly a decade ago the Chinese demonstrated the cholesterol and
plasma lipid lowering ability of whey protein.10 But this, along
with piles of subsequent research, hasn't motivated the government
to give whey protein the same whorish kiss it gave soy.
Much Ado About
I think what's
really going on starts with the soy lobbyists. Soy is big business.
Nearly a million metric tons have come into this country this past
year alone; nearly $500 million worth of soy products moved off
supermarket shelves just last year.11 When big bucks are on the
line, lobbyists find the motivation to aggressively seduce
A lot of support for soy being heart
healthy stems from soy enthusiasts focusing on the estrogenic effect
of soy. Soy contains genistein and other phytoestrogens that are
hormonally akin to estrogen. Unfortunately, it now appears these
folks have jumped the gun. A landmark study in the Journal of the
American Medical Association looked at estrogen therapy and the
prevention of heart disease.
The study showed that over four
years, estrogen treatment did not reduce the rate of heart disease
in postmenopausal women. In fact, it increased the rate of blood
clots and gallbladder disease! The conclusion of this comprehensive
study of nearly 3,000 subjects sent a clear message to physicians
that, while it might help bone density and lessen the chance of hip
fractures, estrogen therapy does not protect the heart. Thus, it
should not be given for preventing heart disease. "Based on the
finding of no overall cardiovascular benefit and a pattern of early
increase in risk of CHD (coronary heart disease) events, we do not
recommend starting this treatment for the purpose of secondary
prevention of CHD."12
Thus, those taking soy as an
estrogen analog for protection against heart disease have been
woefully misled by the propaganda. In fact, as the research clearly
shows, the road of estrogenic substances is filled with perils., Why
the soy supporters and the FDA have ignored this, is beyond, my
comprehension. I should highlight here that, unlike soy protein,
whey protein has no phytoestrogen content. And, while the exact
mechanism remains unclear, the cardioprotective effect, if any,
probably has more to do with a powerful antioxidant effect that
benefits the entire body, not just the heart.
There are other problems with
exposure to estrogens and estrogen-like substances, namely cancer.
Somehow soy got labeled a cancer preventive! The absurdity of this
flawed logic makes me laugh; the potential health ramifications of
the misinformation make me cry.
behind soy as a cancer preventive stems from the fact that the
phytoestrogens in soy protein, although estrogen-like in function,
are weaker receptor stimulators than the estrogens in our bodies.
When this weaker estrogen is put in the body, it competes with the
body's own estrogens for receptor sites. A temporary "blocking"
effect is exerted because these estrogen-like compounds don't
stimulate the receptor to the same degree as actual estrogens. This
is the mechanism of action of tamoxifin, a chemotherapy agent many
soy supporters say soy protein is akin to.
The problem with this theory: While
an estrogen-like substance might have a weaker stimulatory property
on one area of receptors in the body, it may be stimulatory to the
same degree as true estrogen at other receptor sites. It's for this
reason drugs with more estrogen site specificity are currently being
developed. New drugs like raloxifene appear to have estrogen site
selectivity so that, for the postmenopausal female, the risk of
osteoporosis is reduced without stimulating uterine or breast
So, while phytoestrogens in soy
might be weaker estrogens at some sites in the body and thus help
prevent cancer spurred by the body's own unopposed estrogens, it has
no receptor site specificity, and thus may actually stimulate
cancer, in other areas of the body.14
In fact, in recent discussions with
prominent cancer specialists and colleagues at the world renowned
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, the subject of
soy protein came up. All three specialists I spoke with are telling
successfully treated breast cancer survivors to avoid soy. Of even
greater interest was that they maintained this recommendation even
for those individuals whose cancer was deemed "non-estrogen
dependent" (i.e., estrogen receptor negative). They said they did
this "just to be on the safe side."
thankfully, the public is getting hip. In a recent New York Times
article, prominent physician researchers called our attention to the
potential perils of soy. Dr. Margo Woods at tufts University School
of Medicine, Dr. Gregory Burke at Wake Forest University School of
Medicine, Dr. William Helferich at the University of Illinois, and
even the FDA's own research biologist at the National Center for
toxicological Research, have all voiced very serious
My recommendation would be to
examine your family history carefully. If you have a history of
cancer (especially breast), consider soy a danger.
But if it's
cancer prevention you're interested in, without playing Russian
roulette with the phytoestrogens found in soy, take a good look at
whey protein. More than a decade ago, whey protein demonstrated an
ability to prevent cancer and tumor growth.15
The current thought
is, in much the way whey protein may be cardio-protective, the key
mechanism of action has to do with whey's unique ability to bolster
the immune system by increasing intracellular antioxidant power.
We have all heard of vitamins E and
C and their antioxidant ability in the bloodstream. But, a far more
powerful and target-specific antioxidant exists within each living
cell called gamma-L-glutamyl-L-cysteinyl-glycine, more easily
referred to as GSH (Glutathione). This powerful antioxidant exerts
its action within the cell. In fact, it cannot only be synthesized
inside the cell from smaller molecules since there is no efficient
transport mechanism to get GSH from the blood stream into the
The key building block for GSH is an
amino acid called cysteine. When two molecules of cysteine are
coupled and then linked by a disulfide bond, the result is a
molecule called cystine. This cystine molecule is not only stable,
but travels easily through the body and into each living cell. Once
in the cell, it's broken down into cysteine molecules; and used to
Because of whey protein's unmatched
biological value, bioavailability, impressive solubility, level of
absorption, and high percentage content of cystine residues and
branch chain amino acids (23 percent), it's the superior form of
protein supplementation for athletes.16 Though moderate exercise has
been shown to improve immunity, intense exercise has been shown to
reduce GSH levels, which are associated with immunosuppression.17
This negative effect on immunity is directly related to the
intensity and duration of the physical activity and immune status of
the athlete. Over the past decade it has been shown that whey
protein possesses immune enhancing properties that can help the
athlete recover and avoid over training syndrome.18
Unlike soy protein, which is
profoundly deficient in these and other sulfur-containing amino
acids whey protein (in particular, the concentrate form) contains an
abundance of highly biologically active cystine residues, thus
making it a powerful immuno-modulator against cancer, toxins,
infections, or any other bodily insult.19
In support of the
notion of whey being protective, against cancer, a recent study
published by the American Association for Cancer Research compared
whey Protein to soy protein and casein ( a low order milk protein).
The article concluded that "Whey appears to be at least twice as
effective as soy in reducing both tumor incidence and
multiplicity."20 This staggering news has profound ramifications
with respect to choosing between soy protein and whey protein.
Furthermore, the same "cysteine
donor" effect unique to whey and not found in soy, that seems to be
at work in preventing cancer, has recently been shown to enhance
muscular performance and decrease muscular fatigue. Another recent
study concluded that prolonged supplementation with a product
designed to augment antioxidant defenses resulted in improved
volitional performance."21 Remember, this characteristic is unique
to whey and something soy simply cannot achieve because it is not a
Going back to the issue of soy
containing phytoestrogens, the problem may be worse for men than for
The research indicates that these phytoestrogens are not
as weak and harmless as soy enthusiasts would lead you to believe.
In fact, when genistein (the main phytoestrogen in soy) Was given to
mice in doses similar to those contained in an average soy-based
diet, in only nine days testosterone concentration was dramatically
reduced. The reduction seemed to stem from a decrease in production
of luteinizing hormone, secreted by the anterior pituitary gland.22
In fact, several other animal studies clearly indicate the rather
frightening feminizing effect of unopposed estrogen stimulation in
the form of dietary phytoestrogens.23,24
My own fight card
says soy loses yet another round. Stick with whey, unless of course
you want to get in touch with your feminine side.
another recent, study by Dr. Stephen Liu of UCLA Medical Center,
demonstrated the influence of estrogen on weakening ligaments and
thus increasing the probability of injury. This would explain why
women are up to six times as likely as men to suffer an anterior
cruciate ligament tear.25 Although this research is somewhat
controversial and preliminary, it warrants careful examination. As
with the concerns over soy protein negatively influencing thyroid
function in children, don't discard these possible early indicators
of what could become a serious health issue as the soy juggernaut
rolls on unopposed.
As we near the end of the final round, know
that the research continues to mount supporting whey as the protein
of choice and, unless used carefully only in select cases as a
medicinal food, soy is far inferior and dangerously problematic. In
this head-to-head battle, soy protein is simply outclassed by whey.
But since the Don Kings of the soy industry are showing no signs of
letting up on the pro-soy hype, something tells me this mismatch is
destined for a rematch.
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