Whey Protein

Whey Protein
Whey Protein

Uses Of Whey Protein

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…

  • Athletic performance. Most research in healthy young adults who strength train shows increased strength and muscle mass. Taking this protein also appears to improve running speed and recovery from exercise in untrained adults. Whey protein seems to work as well as soy, chicken, or beef protein for increasing muscle strength.
  • Eczema (atopic dermatitis). Some research shows that feeding infants whey protein formula during the first 3-12 months of life can reduce the infant’s risk of developing eczema by the age of 3 years.
  • Prone to allergies and allergic reactions (atopic disease). Research shows that infants who consume this 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 this protein might not be helpful for treating atopic diseases once they develop.
  • Involuntary weight loss in people with HIV/AIDS. Some research shows that taking whey protein can help decrease weight loss in people with HIV.
  • Scaly, itchy skin (psoriasis). Some research shows that taking a whey protein extract daily for 8 weeks can reduce psoriasis symptoms.

Possibly Ineffective For…

  • A lung disease that makes it harder to breathe (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or COPD). Some research shows that taking a protein supplement daily for 6 weeks can improve shortness of breath in people with COPD. But not all research agrees.
  • Bone loss in people taking drugs called corticosteroids. Research suggests that taking a drink containing this specific protein daily for up to 2 years does not improve bone density in postmenopausal women with osteoporosis.

Insufficient Evidence To Rate Effectiveness For…

  • Asthma. Early research shows that taking a specific type of whey protein 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.
  • Memory and thinking skills (cognitive function). Early research shows that taking a small amount of whey protein does not improve memory or thinking skills in older adults. However, it might improve memory in older adults that are very tired.
  • Cystic fibrosis. Early research suggests that taking this protein daily for 28 days improves lung function in children, but not adults with cystic fibrosis.
  • Diabetes. Early research shows that consuming a specific drink containing whey protein concentrate immediately before a meal decreases blood sugar in people with diabetes. However, taking whey protein daily and exercising daily does not seem to lower blood sugar over a longer time period.
  • 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.
  • Muscle damage caused by exercise. Whey protein might improve recovery from exercise and muscle damage from exercise. However, it does not seem to work for everyone.
  • Swelling (inflammation) of the liver (hepatitis). Early research suggests that taking whey protein 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 this protein for 4 months does not improve immune function in children with HIV.
  • High levels of cholesterol or other fats (lipids) in the blood (hyperlipidemia). Early research suggests that taking whey protein daily while participating in weight lifting exercises does not reduce cholesterol levels or body fat in overweight men with high cholesterol.
  • High blood pressure. Taking 28 grams of whey protein or 20 grams of hydrolyzed whey protein daily for 6-8 weeks lowers blood pressure in people with high blood pressure. But taking less whey protein (2.6 grams daily) doesn’t have any benefit.
  • A group of disorders that most often cause muscle weakness (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 this condition.
  • Swelling (inflammation) and build-up of fat in the liver in people who drink little or no alcohol (nonalcoholic steatohepatitis or NASH). Early research suggests that taking whey protein daily for 12 weeks can improve liver function in patients with NASH.
  • Obesity. The effect of this protein on weight loss seems to depend on how it is used. Taking whey protein while dieting might prevent the loss of lean muscle and increase the loss of body fat in some people. This might improve overall body composition. But taking whey protein while dieting doesn’t seem to increase overall weight loss in most people who are obese or overweight. It’s too soon to know if taking whey protein without dieting improves weight loss. When used along with exercise, whey protein doesn’t seem to improve weight loss. In overweight teens, drinking a whey protein beverage for 12 weeks might actually increase weight and body mass index (BMI).
  • Parkinson disease. Some research shows that taking this specific protein doesn’t help Parkinson’s disease symptoms.
  • A hormonal disorder that causes enlarged ovaries with cysts (polycystic ovary syndrome or PCOS). Early research shows that taking this protein daily for 2 months can reduce body weight, fat mass, and cholesterol in women with PCOS. However, whey protein does not improve blood sugar and seems to decrease high-density lipoprotein (HDL or “good”) cholesterol.
  • Muscle aches and stiffness caused by inflammation (polymyalgia rheumatica). Early research suggests that 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 this condition.
  • Blood infection (sepsis). Early research shows that taking this protein daily for up to 28 days does not improve the rate of blood infections in children who are in the hospital.
  • Other conditions. More evidence is needed to rate whey protein for these uses.

Side Effects Of Whey Protein

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

Warnings & Precautions

  • Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There isn’t enough reliable information to know if this protein is safe to use when pregnant or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.
  • Milk allergy: If you are allergic to cow’s milk, avoid using.

Dosage Of Whey Protein

The following doses have been studied in scientific research:



For scaly, itchy skin (psoriasis): 5 grams per day of a specific extract product.


Consult your doctor or pharmacist.


All information has been provided courtesy of MedLinePlus from the National Library of Medicine and from the FDA.