Tag Archives: Lactose

Proteins: Whey, Soy, Casein….. Decoded

My mother’s colleague has been worrying herself to death and the cause of this…. Her 16 year old son wants to take protein shakes for body building. She doesn’t want him to start taking the supplements as she thinks these will have negative effects on his health. So she wanted a little help from me; to persuade him not to take these. What do you think was my reply? Excerpts from what I explained to him…

Milk constitutes of two kinds of proteins: Casein and Whey, which are widely used in Sports field and medicine to fulfill the excess protein demands which are not satisfied by diet alone. Out of 100% of the protein content of milk 80% is casein and remaining is whey protein. When cheese (paneer) is extracted from milk casein stays with cheese and the by-product (yellowish green liquid) comprises of whey protein.

Whey: Whey Protein is quickly absorbed in the body and has a high concentration of Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAA) which are used to fuel muscles and which stimulate protein synthesis. Commercially whey protein is available in three major forms: concentrate, isolate, and hydrolysate.

  • Whey concentrate has 29-89% protein depending upon the product. The lower the amount of protein, the amounts of fat and lactose in that formulation increase.
  • Whey Isolates yield a higher percentage of pure protein and can be virtually lactose, carbohydrate, fat and cholesterol free. They are at least 90% protein by weight.
  • Whey Hydrosylate: Whey protein is hydrolyzed (chemically changed) to synthesize hydrolysates. Long protein chains are broken down into smaller segments called “peptides”.

Hydrolyzed Vs Non-Hydrolyzed Whey: Hydrolyzed Whey is less likely to cause an allergic reaction than non-hydrolyzed one. It is most commonly used in infant formulas and specialty protein supplements for medical use.

Whey Isolate Vs Concentrate: Whey Isolates tend to be less allergenic than Concentrates. Whey isolate is the most pure and concentrated form of whey protein available.

Whey protein is essential in the field of bodybuilding, athletics, and sports today because of its ability to be digested very rapidly. It helps in returning the post-workout body back from a catabolic to an anabolic state.

Casein: This protein is also derived from milk and is popular because of a very unique property. It forms a gel in the stomach which leads to slow digestion and slow release of amino acids sometimes lasting for several hours. Due to this property casein is slowly digested and thus it can used as an excellent post workout supplement.

Soy protein is extracted from soybean. Soy protein is commercially processed into concentrates and isolates. Soy protein isolate is a highly refined form of soy protein with a minimum protein content of 90%. It is made from soy flour from which most of the fat and carbohydrate has been removed. Soy protein concentrate is about 70% soy protein. Soy protein concentrate is easily digestible and thus is well-suited for children, pregnant, lactating women and elderly. Soy protein is considered to have a similar protein quality as animal proteins. A study published on the effect of soy protein on lipids concluded that soy protein is related with decrease in total cholesterol, LDL and triglyceride concentration. After this study FDA granted that “25 grams of soy protein a day, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol may reduce the risk of heart disease.” Can be taken safely by a lactose intolerant person.

These proteins are derived from our usual food sources but are more beneficial because of the processing techniques they undergo. They do not cause any side effects whatsoever if taken by someone who really needs them.

How to determine the need?

Put a GAG on GAS!!!

A burp or a fart at wrong times can be a source of embarrassment and discomfort. Nonetheless it is a part and parcel of life because an average adult produces about 0.5-1.5 liters of gas every day which is either passed as flatus or as a burp. The amount of gas produced depends on the diet and other individual factors. Certain foods, eating habits and disease conditions can cause you to make excessive amounts of gas. This piece of writing reviews the sources of intestinal gas, conditions that increase sensitivity to gas and measures to reduce gas production.

As a student we study the three states of matter: solids, liquids and gases. The lightest state of the three can act quite heavy when inside the intestines. Intestinal gas comes from two primary sources of intestinal gas: gas that is swallowed and gas that is produced by bacteria in the large intestine.

Swallowed air is the major source of gas in the stomach. It is normal to swallow a small amount of air while eating and drinking and this is mostly eliminated by burping.

Bacterial production: The colon normally houses billions of bacteria which support intestinal health. Certain carbohydrates which are incompletely digested by our intestines are acted upon by these bacteria. In this process certain gases are produced like carbon dioxide, hydrogen, methane and very small amounts of sulfur.

Causes of Increased Gas Formation

  • Larger amounts of air can be swallowed when eating food rapidly, gulping liquids, while having carbonated beverages or chewing a gum, or smoking.
  • Foods that cause gas: Several foods contain a carbohydrate ‘raffinose’, which is poorly digested and can increase gas production. Foods like beans, cabbage, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, broccoli, asparagus (shatavari), etc.
  • Some laxatives contain soluble fiber and may cause gas, particularly during the first few weeks of use.
  • Certain Diseases: Lactose intolerance – Lactose intolerance occurs when your body has difficulty digesting lactose, the sugar found in milk and most milk-based products. Gluten Sensitivity or celiac diseaseGluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, rye and oats. The people who are not able to digest gluten are said to be sensitive to gluten. Irritable bowel syndrome – Many people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) are sensitive to normal amounts of gas and normal movement in the intestines feels painful or overactive.
  • Stress can also lead to increased gas formation because people under stress often swallow a lot of air.

Measures to reduce Gas

  • Avoid foods that appear to aggravate your symptoms. These may include milk and dairy products, certain fruits or vegetables, whole grains, artificial sweeteners, carbonated beverages. Keep a record of foods to help to identify which foods are troublesome.
  • If you are lactose intolerant, do not consume products that contain lactose or use a lactose-digestive aid, such as pre-digested dairy products or lactase supplements (e.g., Lactaid® tablets or liquid).
  • Fructo-oligosaccharides present in certain foods promote the growth of friendly bacteria in the large intestine which help in keeping the growth of gas-producing bacteria in check.
  • Chew food thoroughly. Large particles cause gas when they pass into the large intestine without being completely digested.
  • Eat slowly. If you eat too quickly, you tend to swallow more air.

Though relatively harmless, excessive gas in the gastro-intestinal tract can be quite annoying. By checking our food habits we can put a gag on this gas.