What Do Whey Protein Isolates Do?

Due to its properties, these whey isolates are easily absorbed in an individual's muscles. They contain over 90 percent protein and less than one percent fat and lactose.

Manufacturing process

Whey protein isolates are made by purifying the protein by two food processing techniques: ion exchange and cross-flow micro-filtration. The protein isolates contain almost pure protein and less or no carbohydrates and fat. However, the two methods of manufacturing whey protein isolates produce different nutritional values.

Compared to other sources of protein such as chicken, fish, lean red meat, and eggs whey isolates have a higher biological value (BV).


Whey isolates contain the following key proteins:

Lactoferrin: This protein which makes up about two percent of the whey isolate, binds iron to the gut which requires it from supporting harmful microbial growth such as pathogenic bacteria. It has certain anti-bacterial properties that prevent the adherence of bacterial to the intestinal tract. This is an anti-oxidant that is found in bodily secretions such as blood, milk, saliva, and tears.

Lactoperoxidase: This protein that makes up less than one percent of the whey isolate has strong anti-bacterial properties. However, unlike lactoferrin, lactoperoxidase actually kills micro-organisms through an enzymatic reaction.

Glycomacropeptide (GMP): The structural properties of this protein enable casein to have an aqueous solution. It plays an important role in preventing the formation of dental cavities and plaque.

Immunoglobulins: This protein fraction makes up about 15 percent of the whey isolate. It is found in colostrums which is essential for infants.

Bovine Serum Albumin (BSA): This protein makes up about 10 percent of the whey isolate. It has fat binding properties.

Lysozyme: This fraction of the whey isolate makes up about 0.1 percent of the whey protein isolate. It has anti-bacterial properties and enables an increase in immunity in the body.

Whey protein isolates and whey protein concentrate

Whey protein isolates and whey protein concentrate are both consumed to build muscle. However, there is one main difference between these two dietary supplements:

Protein concentrates are made by filtering the whey in order to separate the protein from water, organic substances, and minerals. The whey protein concentrate in its powdered form is about 80 percent protein and five percent lactose. Protein isolates are lactose free and is ideal for those individuals who are lactose intolerant.

Whey concentrate contains about 14 percent protein, about 75 percent lactose, and approximately two percent milk fat. In contrast, whey protein isolates contains over 90 percent protein and less than one percent lactose and milk fat.

Side effects of whey protein isolates

Consuming too much of whey isolates may lead to increased bowel movements, exhaustion, muscle cramps, or allergic reactions such as rashes or hives. The following are some of the counter-productive symptoms when consuming whey protein in unnecessary doses:

Kidneys damage: Over consumption of the protein supplement may result in stress to the kidney. In addition, the individual may face the risk of kidney stones.

Liver damage: A high protein and low carbohydrate diet can lead to ketosis.

Osteoporosis: Over consumption of the protein supplement may lead to mineral imbalance. This may result in a decrease in bone density.

Allergic reactions: Individuals with lactose intolerance may react poorly to whey (which contains lactose.)

It is recommended to drink at least eight glasses of water a day to ward off these negative reactions to the body.