When there are no established scientific claims to certify the ongoing debate of whether consumption of whey protein holds any side effects or not, it all comes down to this: excess of anything is bad. Even if you take the case of vitamins, there is a term called “toxicity”, which means having too much of a particular vitamin in the system leads to both, acute and chronic symptoms. There’s no reason to believe that having too much proteins in the body, via whey protein consumption, will not have any adverse affects on health. To throw light on whey protein for those who’re not exactly aware of what it is, it is a high quality protein processed from cheese made of cow’s milk. Generally used as a dietary supplement by athletes and body builders, whey protein, just like any other dietary supplement, has its set of benefits and side effects. The fact that its benefits start to show up rather quickly as compared to the side effects, which take longer period to reveal themselves; it’s sometimes consumed by the less careful in inconsiderably high quantities. As such, it’s recommended that each one of you who is consuming whey protein or is planning to do it in the near future to go though the following section which mentions the side effects of it.
Whey Protein Side Effects
Since whey protein is a dairy byproduct (extracted from cheese made from Cow’s milk), it may lead to allergic reactions in people who are lactose intolerant. The allergic reactions may manifest themselves in many forms such as rashes or hives, itching, swelling of the lips, mouth, or throat, difficulty in breathing, excessive coughing, diarrhea, and vomiting.
Although there is no confirmed scientific research to back it, experts advice for moderate consumption of whey protein as higher intake of it over too many years may cause impaired functioning of the kidney and may increase the risk of kidney disorders. Also, whey protein has significant amounts of calcium and phosphorus, which combined with the body’s own proportion of calcium and phosphorus can lead to development of kidney stones.
Some medical experts believe that since too much pressure is put on the liver to absorb the high amount of proteins in whey proteins or any other protein supplement, it may lead to liver damage related to ketosis. Ketosis is a state characterized by increased levels of elevated ketone bodies in the body, which may put too much pressure on the liver, leading to possible damage.
Consumption of higher amounts of whey protein may lead to imbalance of minerals in the bones, causing loss of bone mineral density and thereby leading to osteoporosis. But again, there are no substantial researches to back this theory up. But as with any other side effect, this too is linked to consumption of high doses over a long period of time.
Other Side Effects
In the long run, those who consume excessive amounts (more than the healthy volume) of whey protein may experience symptoms such as:
- Increased stool frequency
- Fatigue (if whey protein consumption is not backed by an otherwise healthy natural diet)
- Loss of appetite (it may leave you feeling full)
- Frequent headaches
- Increased levels of blood pH or acidic blood
- Bloating and Flatulence
- Excess of mucus production as a response to protein intolerance
There are good enough chances that a majority of consumers will not experience side effects of having whey proteins, if only it is consumed within a healthy limit. And since most of the side effects surface up over a period of time because of over consumption, it is recommended that a physician should be consulted to decide on the prescribed intake of whey protein.