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-   -   APS Grass Fed Whey (http://www.catalystathletics.com/forum/showthread.php?t=5855)

Jarod Barker 11-07-2010 09:42 AM

APS Grass Fed Whey
Whey is just too convenient to not use, but with the consumer reports study that came out saying there were heavy metals such as lead, cadmium, mercury, and arsenic in whey protein, I decided to switch to APS Grass Fed Whey.

First off, APS as a company is great. I placed my order, it came really fast, and everything was packaged very well, so I didn't have smashed up products or anything. Secondly, this whey tastes really great. I've gone through a variety of whey products over the years, most taste like sawdust, this whey tastes excellent. I mix it up with kefir, and it tastes like a smoothie.

Anyways, strange issue though. Since I started using grass fed whey, I'm having some stomach problems. Definitely experiencing some lower GI issues when I use the whey. I swapped it with raw eggs for a few days and I was fine, went back to the GF whey, and immediately had problems again. So... my question is, is there something in GF whey that's not in regular whey that may be causing problems for me? Or is there some reason why I might have more trouble digesting GF whey? I've never had a problem with whey or dairy products before, so I have to assume there's something unique about this whey.

Any ideas? Anybody want to buy a jug of it? :cool:

Steve Shafley 11-19-2010 08:52 PM

I don't know. Seems to be a whole lot of bullshit surrounding that particular series of testing, at the very least, focusing on EAS, which is essentially a junk supplement company.

Alex Rogers of the Protein Factory and the Trueprotein guy have posted their analyses of the bulk proteins they sell.

Also, whey protein is highly processed, all of it, a "grass fed" whey protein is, to me, of dubious extra valule, given the huge cost increase, especially when you get out of the realm of whey concentrate, and into some of the other forms of wheys (isolates, etc). Let's just digress a moment and take a look at whey protein manufacturing....just concentrate, and here's a simple, non-complex explanation of whey concentrate manufacturing.


The key phrase:


As the "whey" passes through the filters fat and lactose are removed to leave a concentrated whey protein in liquid suspension. The liquid concentrate is then dried and instantised for easy mixing. The whole process is carried out without the use of excess heat which helps prevent any damage occurring to the product.
NOW, some will talk about how this piece about whey processing is suspect, because it's from a manufacturer. To allay your fears, the processing of whey concentrate process is available in multiple places online.

So, it doesn't matter if grass fed cows give milk for your whey or not, because the fats and the carbs are filtered out to very low levels...so low that it just doesn't matter. Isolates are even MORE pure. Any amino acid difference is essentially going to be moot.

As far as the pea and hemp and other vegetable proteins:

Kind of like some discussion somewhere on pea and hemp proteins, and the fact that these proteins are much more likely to become oxidized during their processing than dairy proteins.

For what it's worth, here's the analysis of the protein brands


I've used Optimum Nutrition products quite a bit in the past, and am gratified to see that they remain under the levels.

This link contains some useful info on cadmium, and how this bit by Consumer's Reports is more fearmongering than anything.


1. The Consumers Report on proteins is essentially useless and fearmongering.
2. Whey from grass fed cows is essentially the same as whey from regular cows.
3. In my opinion, the only reason to buy whey from grass fed cows is the support the manufacturer of that particular product.

Steve Shafley 11-19-2010 08:57 PM

My guess, wrt the lower GI issues is that the blend of vitamins and minerals added to the APS disagrees with you, or perhaps the sweetening and flavor system does, which may very well contain a fiber system to optimize the mouth feel of the product.

I cannot find a label of APS online to look at the ingredients.

Jarod Barker 11-20-2010 11:47 AM

Thanks Steve!

That's exactly the study I read. One of the explanations I read for it was that grain fed cows take in more heavy metals from eating the grains. Then their milk contains some of those heavy metals, and heavy metals bond to proteins, so that when the milk is processed, and the protein is concentrated into whey, the metals become concentrated as well since they are bonded to those proteins.

Since that article, I've read several pieces disputing the article as fearmongering as well, so I'm not fully sure where I stand on the issue right now, but I eat grass fed beef and drink grass fed dairy products (milk and butter), so I suppose grass fed whey makes sense. Though... I'll probably go back to egg protein after I finish my supply of APS whey. I just seemed to digest it better.

Not sure if this will work, but here is an attempt to post the label on the APS whey:

<a href="http://s417.photobucket.com/albums/pp252/threeriverscrossfit/?action=view&amp;current=Scan_Pic0003.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i417.photobucket.com/albums/pp252/threeriverscrossfit/Scan_Pic0003.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>

I'm guessing it's probably the apple pectin or stevia they use that was upsetting my stomach since I've never had any problems with dairy or whey proteins in the past, and I've never seen either of those ingredients in any of my past whey.

Jarod Barker 11-20-2010 11:48 AM

Ah... No luck on the pic.

Maybe this one will work:


Steve Shafley 11-21-2010 03:14 PM

I think that's probably the culprit. Relatively innocuous as far as flavoring and mouth feel systems go, overall, but stuff like that tends to be variable from person to person.

I would really have to delve into the research on that heavy metals binding to the proteins...as far as filtration goes, it seems like that's exactly what needs to be filtered out.

Jarod Barker 11-21-2010 03:39 PM

Funny how some small little filler like apple pectin or a sweetener like stevia can be all it takes to make you sick. It's probably only a small percentage of the total ingredients.

The heavy metals binding to proteins and all the processing and filtration that whey goes through is way out of my league. I could probably spend a month researching it and not even scratch the surface into understanding it. I do recall Robb Wolf discussing fish oil though and stating that fish oil is free of heavy metals because the metals bond to proteins and not fat. Not sure how that would apply to whey, but maybe when Robb stops being so darn busy, I'll make a point to ask him.

I'm still not sure how I feel about that study, but one thing I find interesting is that the ads I get from supplement companies now advertise various whey proteins that are "heavy metal free" or "private lab tested to contain no metals or toxins." Maybe I should just stick to eating more animals.

Blair Lowe 11-21-2010 07:52 PM


possible allergen and it is known to have a laxative effect.

Jarod Barker 11-22-2010 10:03 AM


Originally Posted by Blair Lowe (Post 83262)

possible allergen and it is known to have a laxative effect.

Good point, there seems to be xanthan gum in all whey protein products though, so I don't think I'm allergic to it, but maybe APS uses more xanthan gum than other products hence the laxative effect.

Steve Shafley 11-22-2010 05:08 PM

Some interesting info:

All whey protein manufactured in the US is from the whey run off of cheese manufacturing. The grass fed whey is the run off from organic, grass-fed cheeses. This means that the whey has basically been pasteurized twice.

Now, there's a manufacturer in France whom has "native" whey available. This means the protein was manufactured from the milk, not the cheese by products. Apparently this means that more unfractionated whole proteins are available.

The Protein Factory is the only place I've seen selling this stuff right now.

$14.00 a pound for the bulk, unsweetened isolate. France doesn't allow any hormone enhancement with their milk cows.

More info below. I found this kind of interesting.


In the PF forum there are some threads about this and grass fed whey.

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