View Full Version : Whey protein

Craig Van De Walker
02-25-2008, 07:46 PM
I was listening to Cordain talk about a protein in milk that had some really bad effects. I have been trying very hard to eat well, but I sometimes use a whey based protein powder.

Any opinions on how bad that is going to be for me?

Garrett Smith
02-26-2008, 05:38 AM
I believe you're talking about his newsletter on betacellulin (http://thepaleodiet.com/newsletter/newsletters/PDNCourierVol2No5.pdf).

Steve Liberati
02-26-2008, 05:48 AM
I would be interested to know if betacellulin is found in raw milk kefir. any idea Dr. G?

Craig Van De Walker
02-26-2008, 06:12 AM
Yes that was it, thanks. according to what I heard sounds like it would be in just about all milk type products. They mentioned cheese and yogurt having it. I assume my whey protein contains it in significant quantities as well.

Garrett Smith
02-26-2008, 10:38 AM
Steve and Craig,
Here's what I found in regards to your concerns, http://www.realmilk.com/betacellulin.html, seems like a pretty well-researched piece to me (and they are in favor of raw, grass-fed milk to begin with):

Betacellulin has been isolated from colostrum, milk and cheese whey,2, 3 but whether other forms of fermentation, such as those used in the production of yogurt or kefir, break it down remains to be tested. Although researchers have not determined how much of the betacellulin in milk will actually survive digestion in the adult gastrointestinal tract, laboratory experiments show that milk contains substances that will inhibit the ability of isolated digestive juices to break down other growth factors,4 so it is possible that much or all of the betacellulin that we consume is biologically active.

Although there are many studies showing hydrolyzed whey protein to protect against cancer in experimental animals, the few studies utilizing non-hydrolyzed whey protein that would contain intact betacellulin have shown conflicting results.5 None, however, has shown whey protein to increase the rate of cancer, despite the presence of betacellulin within it. This suggests either that dietary betacellulin does not promote cancer or other protective factors, such as whey proteins, cancel out its effect.

Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), found in milk fat, is a powerful anti-carcinogen. Part of its mechanism of action is to decrease the transcription and activation of receptors in the epidermal growth factor (EGF) family. 6,7 These are the very same receptors through which Dr. Cordain hypothesizes betacellulin causes cancer. Even if betacellulin in commercial milk does promote cancer, it may only be able to do so in the absence of the protective factors found in the fat of naturally and traditionally produced milk.

When human breast and colon cancer cells are bathed in high-CLA milk fat from cows raised on pasture, the milk fat decreases the number of cancer cells between 58 and 90 percent.8,9 Unfortunately, such experiments have not utilized whole milk, which would contain betacellulin in addition to CLA, so we cannot conclusively define the type of balance needed between these two components. Grass-fed milk is five times higher in CLA than grain-fed milk,10 and the anti-carcinogenic effect of CLA in animals is enhanced when the experimental diet is high in saturated fat—the kind found in whole milk—and diminished when it is high in unsaturated fat from vegetable oil.11 We can conclude from this finding that insofar as milk is produced commercially and stripped of its natural fat, it is more likely to promote cancer, and that insofar as milk is produced traditionally and retains its natural fat, it is more likely to protect us from cancer.