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Archive for January, 2018

Whey Protein Benefits

 

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What is it?

Whey protein is the protein contained in whey, the watery portion of milk that separates from the curds when making cheese.

Whey protein is used for improving athletic performance, as a food supplement, as an alternative to milk for people with lactose intolerance, for replacing or supplementing milk-based infant formulas, and for reversing weight loss and increasing glutathione (GSH) in people with HIV disease.

Whey protein is also used for protein allergy, asthma, high cholesterol, obesity and weight loss, preventing allergies in infants, late-stage cancer, and colon cancer.

How effective is it?

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate.

The effectiveness ratings for WHEY PROTEIN are as follows:

Possibly effective for…

  • Red, itchy skin (eczema). Research shows that infants who consume whey protein by mouth during the first 3-12 months of life have a lower risk of developing red, itchy skin by the age of 3 years.
  • Prone allergies and allergic reactions (atopic disease). Research shows that infants who consume whey protein by mouth during the first 3-12 months of life are less likely to be prone to allergies and allergic reactions compared to infants who receive standard formula. However, taking why protein might not be helpful for treating atopic diseases once they develop.
  • Weight loss in people with HIV/AIDS. Some research shows that taking whey protein by mouth can help decrease weight loss in people with HIV.
  • Red, scaly skin (psoriasis). Some evidence shows that taking a specific whey protein extract (Dermylex Advitech Inc.) daily for 8 weeks can reduce psoriasis symptoms.

Possibly ineffective for…

  • Lung disease called chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Taking a specific whey protein supplement (ImuPower) daily for 6 weeks can improve shortness of breath but not lung function or quality of life in people with COPD. Other research suggests that taking whey protein supplements does not improve lung function, muscle function, or exercise tolerance in people with COPD.
  • Osteoporosis. Research suggests that taking a drink containing whey protein daily for 2 years does not improve bone density in postmenopausal women with osteoporosis.
  • Weight loss. Most research suggests that taking whey protein alone, along with diet modifications, or while following an exercise plan does not seem to reduce weight for overweight and obese adults. However, whey protein might improve body composition in overweight adults when used along with a modified diet. In overweight teens, drinking a whey protein beverage for 12 weeks seems to increase weight and body mass index (BMI).

Insufficient evidence to rate effectiveness for…

  • Athletic performance. Some clinical research shows that taking whey protein in combination with strength training increases lean body mass, strength, and muscle size. However, other research suggests no effect of whey protein on strength or muscle mass. Taking whey protein seems to improve recovery from exercise better than carbohydrate supplements in untrained but not trained athletes.
  • Asthma. Early research suggests that taking a specific type of whey protein (HMS 90 Immunofec, Inc) daily for 30 days does not improve lung function in children with asthma.
  • Cancer. There is some evidence that taking whey protein might help reduce tumor size in some people with cancer that has spread.
  • Cystic fibrosis. Early research suggests that taking whey protein daily for 28 days improves lung function in children, but not adults with cystic fibrosis
  • Asthma caused by exercise. Early research suggests that taking whey protein daily for 10 days improves lung function in people with asthma caused by exercise.
  • Non-alcoholic liver disease (nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, NASH). Early research suggests that taking whey protein daily for 12 weeks can improve liver function in patients with NASH.
  • Hepatitis. Early research suggests that taking a specific type of whey protein (Immunocal) daily for 12 weeks can improve liver function in some people with hepatitis B. However, it does not appear to benefit people with hepatitis C.
  • HIV/AIDS. Early research suggests that taking whey protein for 4 months does not improve immune function in children with HIV.
  • High cholesterol. Early research suggests that taking whey protein daily while participating in resistance training does not reduce cholesterol levels or body fat in overweight men with high cholesterol.
  • High blood pressure. Early research suggests that drinking a beverage that contains whey protein daily for 12 weeks does not lower blood pressure in people with high blood pressure. However, taking hydrolyzed whey protein daily for 6 weeks can reduce blood pressure
  • Infections developed while in the hospital. Early research suggests that taking a specific whey protein supplement (Beneprotein) daily for up to 28 days has a similar effect on the rate of hospital-acquired infections as taking a combination of zinc, selenium, glutamine, and metoclopramide.
  • Inherited disorders that cause mental and developmental problems (mitochondrial myopathies). Early research suggests that taking a whey protein supplement daily for one month does not improve muscle strength or quality of life in people with mitochondrial diseases.
  • Ovarian cysts (Polycystic ovarian syndrome). Early research suggests that taking a supplement containing whey protein daily for 2 months can reduce body weight, fat mass, and cholesterol in people with ovarian cysts. However, whey protein does not improve blood sugar and seems to decrease high-density lipoprotein (HDL or “good”) cholesterol.
  • Aching and stiffness caused by inflammation (polymyalgia rheumatica). Taking whey protein in a dairy product twice daily for 8 weeks does not improve muscle function, walking speed, or other movement tests in people with polymyalgia rheumatica.
  • Other conditions.

More evidence is needed to rate whey protein for these uses.

How does it work?

Whey protein is a source of protein that might improve the nutrient content of the diet. Whey protein might also have effects on the immune system.

Are there safety concerns?

Whey protein is LIKELY SAFE for most children and adults when taken by mouth appropriately. High doses can cause some side effects such as increased bowel movements, nausea, thirst, bloating, cramps, reduced appetite, tiredness (fatigue), and headache.

Special precautions & warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There is not enough reliable information about the safety of taking whey protein if you are pregnant or breast feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Milk allergy: If you are allergic to cow’s milk, avoid using whey protein.

Are there interactions with medications?

Major
Do not take this combination.
Levodopa
Whey protein might decrease how much levodopa the body absorbs. By decreasing how much levodopa the body absorbs, whey protein might decrease the effectiveness of levodopa. Do not take whey protein and levodopa at the same time.
Moderate
Be cautious with this combination.
Albendazole
Whey protein can decrease how much albendazole the body absorbs. Taking whey protein and albendazole at the same time can decrease the effectiveness of albendazole. Do not take whey protein while taking albendazole.
Alendronate (Fosamax)
Whey protein can decrease how much alendronate (Fosamax) the body absorbs. Taking whey protein and alendronate (Fosamax) at the same time can decrease the effectiveness of alendronate (Fosamax). Don’t take whey protein within two hours of taking alendronate (Fosamax).
Antibiotics (Quinolone antibiotics)
Whey protein might decrease how much antibiotic the body absorbs. Taking whey protein along with some antibiotics might decrease the effectiveness of some antibiotics. To avoid this interaction take whey protein supplements at least one hour after antibiotics.

Some of these antibiotics that might interact with whey protein include ciprofloxacin (Cipro), enoxacin (Penetrex), norfloxacin (Chibroxin, Noroxin), sparfloxacin (Zagam), trovafloxacin (Trovan), and grepafloxacin (Raxar).

Antibiotics (Tetracycline antibiotics)
Whey protein contains calcium. The calcium in whey protein can attach to tetracyclines in the stomach. This decreases the amount of tetracyclines that can be absorbed. Taking calcium with tetracyclines might decrease the effectiveness of tetracyclines. To avoid this interaction, take whey protein two hours before or four hours after taking tetracyclines.

Some tetracyclines include demeclocycline (Declomycin), minocycline (Minocin), and tetracycline (Achromycin).

Are there interactions with herbs and supplements?

There are no known interactions with herbs and supplements.

Are there interactions with foods?

There are no known interactions with foods.

What dose is used?

The following doses have been studied in scientific research:

BY MOUTH:

  • For improving athletic performance: 1.2-1.5 grams/kg of whey protein in combination with strength training for 6-10 weeks.
  • For HIV/AIDS-related weight loss: 8.4-84 grams of whey protein per day, or 2.4 grams/kg per day in a high-calorie formula, or 42-84 grams per day in a glutamine-enriched formula.

Methodology

To learn more about how this article was written, please see the Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database methodology.

References

  1. Exl, B. M., Deland, U., Wall, M., Preysch, U., Secretin, M. C., and Shmerling, D. H. Zug-Frauenfeld nutritional survey (“Zuff Study”): allergen-reduced nutrition in normal infant population and its healthrelated effects: results at the age of six months. Nutr Res 1998;18:1443-1462.
  2. Porch, M. C., Shahane, A., and Leiva, L. Influence of breast milk, soy or two hydrolyzed formulas on the development of allergic manifestations in infants at risk. Nutr Res 1998;18:1424.
  3. Lam, B. C. C. and Yeung, C. Y. The effect of breast milk, infant formula and hypoallergenic formula on incidence of atopic manifestation in high risk infants. 1992;
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Willow Bark active ingredient.

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What is it?

Willow bark is the bark from several varieties of the willow tree, including white willow or European willow, black willow or pussy willow, crack willow, purple willow, and others. The bark is used to make medicine.

Willow bark acts a lot like aspirin, so it is used for pain, including headache, muscle or joint pain, menstrual cramps, rheumatoid arthritis (RA), osteoarthritis, gout, and a disease of the spine called ankylosing spondylitis.

Willow bark’s pain relieving potential has been recognized throughout history. Willow bark was commonly used during the time of Hippocrates, when people were advised to chew on the bark to relieve pain and fever.

Willow bark is also used for the common cold, flu, and weight loss.

Salicin, the active ingredient in willow bark, seems to have contributed to the death of the composer, Ludwig von Beethoven. Apparently, Beethoven ingested large amounts of salicin before he died. His autopsy report is the first recorded case of a particular type of kidney damage that can be caused by salicin.

How effective is it?

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate.

The effectiveness ratings for WILLOW BARK are as follows:

Possibly effective for…

  • Treating lower back pain. Willow bark seems to reduce lower back pain. Higher doses seem to be more effective than lower doses. It can take up to a week for significant improvement in symptoms.

Insufficient evidence to rate effectiveness for…

  • Joint pain. Research shows that taking a specific product containing glucosamine sulfate, methylsufonlylmethane, white willow bark extract, ginger root concentrate, boswellia extract, turmeric root extract, cayenne, and hyaluronic acid (Instaflex Joint Support, Direct Digital, Charlotte, NC) in three divided doses daily for 8 weeks reduces joint pain. But this product doesn’t seem to help joint stiffness or function.
  • Weight loss. Early research suggests that taking willow bark in combination with ephedra and cola nut might cause slight weight loss in overweight and obese people. However, it is not wise to use this combination because of safety concerns about ephedra. Ephedra has been banned in the United States due to severe harmful side effects.
  • Osteoarthritis. Research on willow bark extract for osteoarthritis has produced conflicting results. Some research shows it can reduce osteoarthritis pain. In fact, there is some evidence suggesting that willow bark extract works as well as conventional medications for osteoarthritis. But other research shows no benefit.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Early research suggests that willow bark extract is not effective for rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Joint pain.
  • Treating fever.
  • Other conditions.

More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of willow bark for these uses.

How does it work?

Willow bark contains a chemical called salicin that is similar to aspirin.

Are there safety concerns?

Willow bark is POSSIBLY SAFE for most people when taken by mouth for a short time (up to 12 weeks).

It may cause headaches, stomach upset, and digestive system upset. It can also cause itching, rash, and allergic reactions, particularly in people allergic to aspirin.

Special precautions & warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Not enough is known about the safety of using willow bark during pregnancy. It’s best to avoid using it.

Using willow bark while breast-feeding is POSSIBLY UNSAFE. Willow bark contains chemicals that can enter breast milk and have harmful effects on the nursing infant. Don’t use it if you are breast-feeding.

Children: Willow bark is POSSIBLY UNSAFE n children when taken by mouth for viral infections such as colds and flu. There is some concern that, like aspirin, it might increase the risk of developing Reye’s syndrome. Stay on the safe side and don’t use willow bark in children.

Bleeding disorders: Willow bark might increase the risk of bleeding in people with bleeding disorders.

Kidney disease: Willow bark might reduce blood flow through the kidneys, which might lead to kidney failure in certain people. If you have kidney disease, don’t use willow bark.

Sensitivity to aspirin: People with ASTHMA, STOMACH ULCERS, DIABETES, GOUT, HEMOPHILIA, HYPOPROTHROMBINEMIA, or KIDNEY or LIVER DISEASE might be sensitive to aspirin and also willow bark. Using willow bark might cause serious allergic reactions. Avoid use.

Surgery: Willow bark might slow blood clotting. There is a concern it could cause extra bleeding during and after surgery. Stop using willow bark at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.

Are there interactions with medications?

Major
Do not take this combination.
Medications that slow blood clotting (Anticoagulant / Antiplatelet drugs)
Willow bark might slow blood clotting. Taking willow bark along with medications that also slow blood clotting might increase the chances of bruising and bleeding.

Some medications that slow blood clotting include aspirin, clopidogrel (Plavix), diclofenac (Voltaren, Cataflam, others), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others), naproxen (Anaprox, Naprosyn, others), dalteparin (Fragmin), enoxaparin (Lovenox), heparin, warfarin (Coumadin), and others.

Moderate
Be cautious with this combination.
Acetazolamide
Willow bark contains chemicals that might increase the amount of acetazolamide in the blood. Taking willow bark along with acetazolamide might increase the effects and side effects of acetazolamide.
Aspirin
Willow bark contains chemicals similar to aspirin. Taking willow bark along with aspirin might increase the effects and side effects of aspirin.
Choline Magnesium Trisalicylate (Trilisate)
Willow bark contains chemicals that are similar to choline magnesium trisalicylate (Trilisate). Taking willow bark along with choline magnesium trisalicylate (Trilisate) might increase the effects and side effects of choline magnesium trisalicylate (Trilisate).
Salsalate (Disalcid)
Salsalate (Disalcid) is a type of medicine called a salicylate. It’s similar to aspirin. Willow bark also contains a salicylate similar to aspirin. Taking salsalate (Disalcid) along with willow bark might increase the effects and side effects of salsalate (Disalcid).

Are there interactions with herbs and supplements?

Herbs and supplements that might slow blood clotting
Willow bark can slow blood clotting. Using it along with other herbs that can also slow blood clotting might increase the chance of bleeding and bruising in some people. These herbs include clove, danshen, garlic, ginger, ginkgo, ginseng, meadowsweet, red clover, and others.
Herbs that contain an aspirin-like chemical (Salicylate)
Willow bark contains a chemical that is similar to an aspirin-like chemical called salicylate. Taking willow bark along with herbs that contain salicylate may increase salicylate effects and adverse effects. Salicylate-containing herbs include aspen bark, black haw, poplar, and meadowsweet.

Are there interactions with foods?

There are no known interactions with foods.

What dose is used?

The following doses have been studied in scientific research:

BY MOUTH:

  • For back pain: Willow bark extract providing 120-240 mg salicin has been used. The higher 240 mg dose might be more effective.

Methodology

To learn more about how this article was written, please see the Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database methodology.

References

  1. Wuthold K, Germann I, Roos G, et al. Thin-layer chromatography and multivariate data analysis of willow bark extracts. J Chromatogr Sci. 2004;42:306-9. View abstract.
  2. Uehleke B, Müller J, Stange R, Kelber O, Melzer J. Willow bark extract STW 33-I in the long-term treatment of outpatients with rheumatic pain mainly osteoarthritis or back pain. Phytomedicine. 2013 Aug 15;20:980-4. View abstract.
  3. Beer AM, Wegener T. Willow bark extract (Salicis cortex) for gonarthrosis and coxarthrosis–results of a cohort study with a control group. Phytomedicine. 2008 Nov;15:907-13. View abstract.

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