Whey is probably one of the most underutilized tools you can use to improve and protect your health, including boosting your immune system function. Whey isn’t some glamorous, high-tech product that was just recently discovered. It’s the translucent liquid that separates from the curd when milk coagulates during the cheese-making process.
Ages ago it was praised as an elixir, but more recently it has generally been discarded as waste. Some of the more savvy farmers knew it would benefit young farm animals and often utilized it in feed. They were on to something.
The majority of the benefits of whey can be attributed to its dense content of high-quality protein components. In fact, it has been found to be one of the most complete and biologically active forms of protein available.
Whey also has a very high content of sulfur-containing amino acids (such as cysteine) that are necessary for the biosynthesis of glutathione. And the body’s level of glutathione is a pretty good indicator of overall health and the ability of your immune system to fight off disease and counter the effects of aging.
Research has shown that several components in whey protein work together to improve immunity. A group of blood proteins called immunoglobulins (IgG1, IgG2, IgA, and IgM) are incorporated into milk and whey. They help pass on immunity to infants and adults as well. Colostrum, the first milk following birth, contains the greatest concentration of these compounds.
Choosing the right whey product can be a daunting task. While I'm sure there are many good ones on the market, it's hard to sort through all the marketing and propaganda. I've tried dozens over the years, and I can tell you they’re not all the same. This is definitely one case where you have to pay a little more to get a product that works well, mixes easily with liquids, and has a taste and texture you like.
I recommend using Designer Whey Protein. It's a quality product that can be found in most health food stores and through numerous online retailers. A daily dose is one or two scoops (17–34 grams of whey protein) mixed with water or skim milk.