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Whey Powerful Protein Powder
Contributed by Metagenics

Most know the importance of protein in the diet. It performs a major structural role—not only in all body tissues, but in the formation of enzymes, hormones, and DNA. Protein furnishes the amino acids required to build and maintain body tissues, such as muscles and organs. When there's a need to build muscle mass or gain weight after chronic illness, protein is the preferred form of calories. Certain proteins transport oxygen, vitamins, and minerals, while others facilitate muscle contractions. As antibodies, proteins are involved in the function of the immune system. Protein is digested slowly, thus having a positive effect on balancing blood sugar levels. Quite simply, protein plays a vital role in every metabolic, structural, and physiological process required for life.

What generates the most confusion about protein are questions about which forms and how much is healthful. Significant evidence shows that most animal-based protein is relatively high in saturated fat and cholesterol, which have been linked to various health problems, particularly cardiovascular. Fortunately, a premium-quality whey protein concentrate (WPC) has been developed that provides all the benefits of protein without its health-compromising drawbacks.

A dietary protein that contains all the essential amino acids in sufficient quantities and ratio is called a complete protein. Whey, the curd-free portion of milk, is composed of an array of constituents including proteins, carbohydrates, minerals, enzymes, and vitamins. A high-quality WPC contains all the essential and non-essential amino acids and thus is a complete protein. Superior whey protein can even compete with eggs, considered the "perfect protein."

Due to its outstanding protein composition, whey protein is ideally suited to improve body composition and promote positive anabolic (tissue or muscle repair and growth) effects. Whey is high in the amino acids, cysteine and glutamine, both of which are required for the synthesis of glutathione, a key free-radical scavenger in the body. Glutamine is also the predominant amino acid in the skeletal muscle and provides both a source of fuel and precursors for growth to the rapidly dividing cells of the intestinal lining. It is also an important fuel for lymphocytes (white blood cells) and immune cells. Therefore, glutamine has been hypothesized specifically to improve immune function and maintain intestinal integrity and barrier function.

For adults in the U.S., a daily protein intake of .8 g/kg of body weight is recommended. This equals about 45 g of protein/day for an average woman, and 62 g/day for an average male. As an energy source, proteins are equivalent to carbohydrates in providing 4 calories/gram. The body typically uses carbohydrates and fats for energy, rather than protein. Intense training or endurance exercise would increase the demand for protein to build muscle.

Reflecting breakthroughs in processing technology, a good WPC contains roughly 80% protein with all the naturally occurring constituents that allow it to remain largely undenatured, meaning it retains the elements that make it biologically active. UltraMeal® Whey Medical Food, from Metagenics
, is just such a high-quality WPC. This whey formula is produced through a patented series of separations and ultra-filtration, which increases the protein content of the whey to approximately 80%, while fat is reduced to less than 10%. This method uses controlled temperatures and pH to prevent the protein from denaturing (becoming inactive) and yields a product with low ash, fat, and lactose content.

UltraMeal's whey source is from the milk of cow herds in New Zealand, one of only two "pristine herds" worldwide. This herd is free from disease, hyper-immunization, genetic alteration, and pesticide contamination. Each serving contains 15 g of protein, plus a wider array of vitamins and minerals and is available in two flavors. There are also soy and rice-based variations of this formula as well.

All forms of UltraMeal are technically considered "medical foods," defined aptly by the FDA as a food "intended for the specific dietary management of a disease or condition for which distinctive nutritional requirements, based on recognized scientific principles, as established by medical evaluation." Specific dietary management is an important consideration when comparing medical foods and/or protein powders because it indicates its specific blend of ingredients that have been clinically evaluated, cannot be easily duplicated with food choices, and are used for "special" nutrient needs.

Whey protein is believed to be the highest quality protein available, even when compared to egg, casein, milk, beef, or soy. In addition to providing essential and non-essential amino acids, WPC is an excellent source of various natural nutrients, which support many aspects of health. An especially healthful alternative without the proven drawback of the other sources of animal protein.

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