Is milk protein concentrate bad for you? As lactose intolerant as I am, I enjoy milk as much as the next gal. I live in northern California where milk is practically a religion (for real). That’s why when Hollywood gossip blogger Perez Hilton slandered the whole dairy industry by saying that the liquid from a carton of milk isn’t even “real” cow’s milk – we were all pretty darn shocked. And angry.
Is Milk Protein Concentrate Bad For You
Milk Protein is a type of protein that is derived from filtered milk and Is formed from whey and casein proteins. Milk protein is generally treated in a way that will keep these proteins close to their natural state, but in a purer form. The gentle purification process Milk Protein goes through ensures any denaturing or changing of the proteins is minimized and the amino acid profile remains excellent. The Milk Protein yielded is an excellent source of calcium, high in branch chain amino acids and low in fat. In this article we will investigate exactly what Milk Protein is and what makes it such an effective, if sometimes overlooked, protein source.
Milk protein isolate is a type of protein supplement made from skim milk. Manufacturers often add it to high protein foods and supplements as a cost-effective way to increase their protein content with little effect on flavor.
Milk protein isolate contains a blend of casein and whey proteins in a ratio similar to the ratio found in cow’s milk.
This article provides an overview of milk protein isolate, including its nutrition and benefits and how it differs from other protein supplements on the market.
What is milk protein isolate?
Milk protein isolate is a protein product derived from skim milk powder.
Manufacturers make it using filtering processes, such as microfiltration, ultrafiltration, and diafiltration. These remove all or most of the minerals and the lactose, a type of sugar naturally present in milk-based products (1).
The result is a powder that is at least 90% protein. There are two main types of protein in milk, casein and whey, and milk protein isolate contains both of these.
You might be familiar with whey protein powder and casein protein powder supplements. Unlike milk protein isolate, these contain only a single type of protein.
Milk protein isolate has a similar ratio of casein and whey protein to the ratio found naturally in milk — 80% casein to 20% whey
Because it contains much more casein than whey, milk protein isolate is slow to digest, like casein. On the other hand, if you take whey protein on its own, your body absorbs it readily and it rapidly spikes the amino acid levels in your blood
Milk protein isolate is made differently from other milk-based protein powders, such as casein powder or whey powder. It’s made from skim milk, whereas whey and casein powders are made from the whey and casein portions of milk, respectively.
Milk protein isolate has a healthy nutritional profile, which means it could be an excellent addition to your diet.
Here’s a breakdown of the nutrition of milk protein isolate per standard 1-ounce (30-gram) scoop (5):
- Calories: 110
- Protein: 25 grams
- Fat: 1 gram
- Carbohydrates: less than 1 gram
Milk protein isolate has a similar amino acid profile to milk. It contains all nine essential amino acids — those that your body cannot produce by itself
This makes milk protein isolate a healthy addition to products like protein bars, meal replacement powders, and protein-fortified foods like high protein yogurts.
Milk and milk protein isolate are rich in branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), which may help promote muscle growth and performance. This includes the important BCAA leucine, which appears to be the most beneficial amino acid for muscle growth
Slow Release Milk Protein
As the proteins within Milk Protein are left as close to their natural state as possible, it takes the body longer to digest. This makes Milk Protein ideally suited as a sustained release protein source and a great choice as a bedtime protein or for in-between meals. As Milk Protein is gradually digested, it forms a gel in the gut which is gradually absorbed over a period of hours. This provides a prolonged source of amino acids that will continually be used by the body.
Milk Protein and Protein Synthesis
Milk Protein does not have a huge effect on protein synthesis as it enters the bloodstream so slowly. However, studies have shown Milk Protein to enhance protein synthesis for a considerably longer time than whey. The slow release properties of Milk Protein make it excellent in preventing any muscle protein breakdown. You don’t want your hard earned muscle to be broken down overnight as the body starts feeding off itself. Seeing as the amount of protein you can ingest before sleep is limited, you have to make the nature and quality of this protein count. Other protein sources such as Whey Protein are rapidly absorbed and are less suited for this specific time. Without going into all the different types of protein, I’ll address the most common ones used to give a better idea of absorption times:
– Hydrolysed Whey Protein: 10-30 minutes
– Whey Protein Isolate: 30-60 minutes
– Whey Protein Concentrate: 60-90 minutes
– Casein Protein (Milk Protein): Up to 7 hours
Milk Protein and Protein Breakdown
Looking at these times there really is no competition. The properties of Milk Protein make it the best thing to take before bed and also through the day (when protein isn’t immediately required). When trying to build muscle, you need to tip the balance of protein synthesis and protein breakdown in your favour. No matter how much protein synthesis you manage through training and diet, this cannot be truly maximised until you address protein breakdown. Potentially this breakdown could undo all the hard work put in through the day. The majority or muscular repair and growth takes place while you are asleep and you cannot afford to starve your body of protein at this important time. Therefore feeding Milk Protein at these times can be an important tool in your supplement arsenal.
Milk, Cheese, and Yogurt
Not only are dairy foods like milk, cheese, and yogurt excellent sources of protein, but they also contain valuable calcium, and many are fortified with vitamin D. Choose skim or low-fat dairy to keep bones and teeth strong and help prevent osteoporosis.
Eating both cheese and yoghurt may be far more beneficial form of dairy to consume than milk.
Casein and whey protein are the major proteins of milk. Casein constitutes approximately 80%(29.5 g/L) of the total protein in bovine milk, and whey protein accounts for about 20% (6.3 g/L) (19-21). Casein is chiefly phosphate-conjugated and mainly consists of calcium phosphate- micelle complexes (20). It is a heterogeneous family of 4 major components including alpha- (αs1– and αs2-casein), beta-, gamma-, and kappa-casein (2, 22, 23).
Whey protein is a collection of globular proteins with a high level of α-helix structure and the acidic-basic and hydrophobic-hydrophilic amino acids are distributed in a fairly balanced form (24). Alpha-Lactalbumin (α-LA) and beta-lactoglobulin (β-LG) are the predominant whey proteins and comprise about 70–80% of the total whey proteins. Among the other types of whey proteins, immunoglobulins (Igs), serum albumin, lactoferrin (LF), lactoperoxidase (LP), and protease-peptones must be mentioned (19, 24-26). Whey proteins have substantial levels of secondary, tertiary, and quaternary structures. They are heat-labile stabilizing their prtotein structure through intermolecular disulfide linkages (25).
Bovine milk protein is considered a high-quality, or complete protein, because it contains all 9 of the essential amino acids in proportions resembling amino acid requirements (3-4). Due to the high quality of bovine milk protein, it is regarded as a standard reference protein to evaluate the nutritive value of other food proteins (4). Furthermore, branched-chain amino acid (isoleucine, leucine, and valine) contents in milk proteins are at higher levels than in many other food sources. These amino acids, especially leucine, help to minimize muscle wasting under conditions of increased protein breakdown and can stimulate muscle protein synthesis. Moreover, whey protein has a high content of sulfur-containing amino acids (cysteine and methionine) which are precursors of glutathione, a tripeptide with antioxidant, anticarcinogenic, and immunostimulatory properties.
Several studies suggest that milk proteins, especially whey proteins, may protect the human body against some cancers (colon, breast, and prostate gland) probably through their ability to enhance cellular levels of glutathione as well as promoting hormonal and cell-mediated immune responses.
In cancer patients, prescription of whey protein (30 g daily for 6 months) has been demonstrated to normalize the number of blood leukocytes. Also, supplementation with whey protein has been reported to increase plasma glutathione levels and natural killer (NK) cell activity in patients with chronic hepatitis B.
Antimicrobial and antiviral effects
Intact whey contains a number of unique components with broad antimicrobial activity. Several studies have demonstrated the inhibitory activity of whey proteins against Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) in infected subjects. In a study in fifty-nine healthy subjects, Okuda et al. revealed that twice daily oral administration of LF tablets (200 mg) for 12 weeks decreased the ability of H. pylori to form colonies, but complete eradication was not achieved. In a large multicentered trial, the eradication rate of H. pylori in the infected patients receiving LF (200 mg) twice a day for 7 days was 73%.
LF has been shown to render direct bactericidal activity against Gram-negative organisms due to its ability to bind to the lipid A part of bacterial lipopolysaccharides and to increase membrane permeability. It was found that LF (1 mg/mL) significantly protected.