Our bodies are made up of over 20,000 different kinds of proteins, some of them formed in amino acid chains over 30,000 long. This means that to be healthy and full of vitality, we need to consume protein sources that provide everything we need. Dr. Colgan, one of the world’s leading experts on protein, believes that protein may be the single most important nutrient and many of us are simply not getting enough of it.
Dr. Colgan also confirms something we’ve known for years: Cooking meat is not the best option for getting the protein you need. Cooking causes the protein to become denatured, a term referring to the breakdown of natural folds in a protein’s structure. In short, any high heat processing of proteins (as used in most pasteurization processes in North America) causes them to be denatured, which means the natural protein folds break down.
According to an article published by the U.S. National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health, researchers have reason to believe that undenatured whey is better than denatured. The reason for this is because while denatured whey is broken down into individual amino acids, undenatured whey protein is processed in such a way that the protein’s, “natural folds” are left. The researchers who conducted the study say there’s evidence that undenatured whey protein is better in boosting antioxidants and enhancing the immune system.
The same study further states that oxidative stress happens when harmful oxidative agents created through psychological, dietary, or environmental stress or the natural metabolic process overwhelm our antioxidant systems, damaging cells. Whey protein is an excellent source of glutathione, which is one of the most important antioxidants for the body in terms of protecting cells from injury and slowing the aging process. As we age, our ability to manufacture glutathione decreases, making whey protein especially important for seniors. In fact, some people in their sixties and seventies have glutathione levels that are as much as fifty percent lower than those who are in their twenties and thirties. This demonstrates how important whey protein is in fighting oxidative stress and slowing down the cellular aging process.
It may take a little work on your part to source the best raw whey proteins but it is well worth your time. In case you missed what we suggest when searching for a raw whey protein, visit part one of our Searching for Protein blog entry. Keep in mind it is what the cows eat and how the whey is processed that become some of the determining factors in your quest for a high-quality raw whey protein source.
Ideal whey protein has unique properties. Some of these special properties mimic mothers’ breast milk, humanity’s first perfect food. Thus, carefully selected raw whey protein contains approximately the same ratios of protein and milk protein found in human breast milk. Comparatively, typical cow’s milk that has been pasteurized does not come close to those ratios. These carefully selected raw whey proteins are excellent sources of all the essential amino acids, but they differ in one important aspect. Whey is a fast-digesting protein, and milk protein is a slow-digesting protein. This means milk protein works to keep amino acid levels in the blood steady over a longer period of time and to promote optimal muscle growth.