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Raising glutathione levels with Whey Protein - why it might not have worked for you.

Discussion in 'Antivirals, Antibiotics and Immune Modulators' started by snowathlete, Dec 1, 2011.

  1. snowathlete

    snowathlete

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    Raising your glutathione levels has been shown to help some patients, and the idea has been around for a while.

    Here is a link to a study the Dr Cheney did a while ago:
    http://www.dfwcfids.org/medical/whey.html

    Since then, from what i have read, Dr Cheney has moved away from using Whey Protein to raise glutathione levels, partly because some people are intolerant to whey protein, and partly in favour of dealing with the route cause. I know that raising glutathione is a big part of Rich's methylation protocol which has helped a number of people.

    I agree with dealing with the route cause, but i also want to take whey protein to help out too, and also as a means of understnading if i have a methylation problem, as if on whey protein i improve, because of increased Glutathione, then perhaps that shows i have a methylation issue. Id be interested in whether Rich thinks this is a worthwhile test or not.

    Two of the main building blocks in whey protein are cysteine and glutamine. But heat, and other harsh treatments break them down. So, if you buy whey protein tha has been pasturied then it probably will do little for you.
    The stuff you need is undenatured whey protein, but this term is very misleading on the labels. Most 'undenatured' whey actually has been pasturised previously before the curds and whey were split in the cheese making process. So, although it is not denatured again it has already lost its positive properties. So, if you have tried Whey Protein but not benefitted, that might be because it wasnt genuinely undenatured!

    Ive looked into what is available that it truely fully undenatured and have found a few products. They are all more expensive that the other poorly labeled versions because the process is more complex.

    The main one used in the research seems to have been:

    * Immunocal - $99 (66) for 300g

    AND

    * ImuPlus - $69.95 for 600g [$35 per 300g]

    Another one mentioned is * ImmunoPro - $45.49 for 300g which some people didnt tollerate as well.

    In addition i have found these that appear to be fully undenatured, though i have emailed some that arent 100% explicit to ask for full clarity on that fact. So if any come back false, i will post again with that info.

    * ImmunPlex (ProHealth's ownbrand) - $30.49 for 306g

    * RenewPro - $39.95 for 300g

    * Vital Whey Natural 35.49 ($55.80) for 600g [$28 per 300g]


    Has anyone had any experience with any of these products? Or do you know of any other truely undenatured products to add to this list? I plan to buy one of these and see if i get any benefit.

    Best
  2. ukxmrv

    ukxmrv Senior Member

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    I started using Whey protein after finding out through a blood test that my Glutathione was low in about 1999(?). At that time Cheney was using Immunopro (although there were some changes in name for some of these products over the years).

    Was a disaster for me but I did persevere. Could not tolerate it at a small dose. The side effects were an all over poisoned, maliase feeling, extra brainfog, increased viral symptoms, very weak and breathless. These got worse over time. Because of the belief at that stage on herxing from whey protein I kept going and then tried another brand (Imunplus I think?) but the same happened.

    Took me at least a year to recover. My Glutathione didn't raise.

    The answer for possibly why I reacted so bad came from the new theories with the Methylisation cycle by Yasko (and so well championed and explained by Rich now)
  3. FunkOdyssey

    FunkOdyssey Senior Member

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    This might be sacrilegious to some but I do pretty well on standard whey protein isolate, your basic bulk-quantity, economical product targeted to bodybuilders. I'm more than a little skeptical of supposed baby-glove treatment of whey protein and the ensuing 1000% price markup.
  4. gu3vara

    gu3vara Senior Member

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    Same experience, had to stop Immunocal after 3-4 months, took up to 3 packets a day, spent about 700$ on this overprice junk. All it did to me was giving me horrible headaches in the end, so I stopped it. Didn't test glutatione level though.
  5. Sallysblooms

    Sallysblooms P.O.T.S. now SO MUCH BETTER!

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    I use Life Extention brand daily in my smoothie, Green's First also. SO good.
  6. snowathlete

    snowathlete

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    No, its good that it works for you. Its certainly a good source of nutrients in general anyway. I think the undenatured process makes sense for getting a better whey though, as the heat breaks down the stuff you most want to keep intact. Im currently looking at the amounts of the various ammino acids in these products as what they say is that they have much greater quantities because of the kinder processes they use.

    I'll post them all here once ive got it all - but most dont have it on their sites, so ive emailed them. This is what i have so far, including Life Extension for comparison.

    Vital Whey. Cysteine 2.24g/100. Clutamic Acid 19.93g/100.

    ImmunPlex. Cysteine 0 (the process converted it to Cystine which apparently is less useful) 2.1g/100. Glutamic Acid 13.8g/100.

    Life Extension Cysteine 0.41g/100. Glutamic Acid 2.69 g/100.
  7. richvank

    richvank Senior Member

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    Here's a repost from another thread back in June 2011:


    Hi, Christopher.

    ImmunoPro has quite a history in ME/CFS. It was developed in the 90s by Michael Keenan, a guy who had CFS, and found that raw milk protein helped him (http://www.wellwisdom.com/pages/About-Us.html ). ImmunoPro was the first truly nondenatured whey protein product, meaning that it was the first one that was not made as a byproduct of cheesemaking, so that the milk had not been pasteurized at a temperature high enough to cause the shapes of the proteins to be altered or to fragment them, or acidified with lactic acid to promote curdling, and thus incidentally to cause the cysteine in the whey to be oxidized to cystine. It therefore preserved the lactoferrin and immunoglobulins that are naturally in milk, and it made the nonoxidized cysteine available to the liver cells, where it is usually the rate-limiting amino acid for making glutathione. Elimination of bacteria is performed by ultrafiltration rather than by pasteurization (sort of like Coors beer,which is filtered through a ceramic filter, rather than being heated to kill the bacteria).

    Other whey protein products include the isolates (designated by the misnomer "undenatured whey protein"), which are a byproduct of cheesemaking, but have received some additional filtering and processing to remove fragments of damaged proteins), and the cheaper commercial whey that comes straight as a byproduct of cheesemaking and is sold in the big plastic jars. From a nutritional standpoint, whey protein in general has the best proportions of amino acids for human nutrition of all the protein supplements available on the market, including egg, soy and the others.

    Dr. Gustavo Bounous, then at McGill University in Montreal, was the person who first showed the value of whey protein as a balanced protein supplement, and he also identified its important role in building glutathione, because of its high cysteine content. The average human diet supplies only about half the cysteine that the body needs. The other half is normally made from methionine via the methylation cycle and the transsulfuration pathway. However, in CFS the methylation cycle is partially blocked, and glutathione becomes depleted.

    Before Dr. Bounous did his research, whey protein was considered a waste product from cheesemaking, which uses the curd fraction. When dumping it became an environmental problem, European cheesemakers approached him to find a use for it, which he did. Now the production and sale of whey protein products has become a fairly large industry.

    Dr. Bounous and others formed the Immunotec company, which produces a whey protein isolate product called Immunocal. In whey protein isolates, the cysteine is oxidized because of the heating and acidification of the whey as part of the cheesemaking process, but this type of product is superior to the straight commercial wheys, because it is more refined. In some isolates, lactoferrin is added back in. Dr. Bounous discovered the deleterious effect of heating the whey, but he was confused about cysteine, thinking that the heating produced cysteine rather than cystine, which was not correct. I wrote him about this several years ago, but I don't know if he really accepted what I wrote him as fact. He said that they were getting some more equipment and would be able to check this. I never heard any more from him about this. Nevertheless, his work really launched the whole whey protein industry, including all its forms, and also did a great deal for raising the appreciation of the importance of glutathione in the body. Dr. Bounous deserves a lot of credit, in my opinion.

    Perhaps the availability of large quantities of processed whey from the cheesemaking industry was a factor in the business decision of Immunotec to produce an isolate, rather than a truly nondenatured whey protein product, starting from raw milk.

    Cystine is still usable by the body, but it has to pass through the kidneys to be reduced to cysteine before it is readily usable by the liver. Liver cells do not absorb cystine very well. They absorb N-acetylcysteine (NAC) somewhat more readily, and cysteine the most readily.

    Dr. Paul Cheney started recommending whey proteins, including ImmunoPro, in the late 90s, when he found that glutathione was depleted in nearly all his CFS patients. I learned about it from his talks, and later met Michael Keenan at a conference. I have corresponded with Dr. Bounous by email. and have a copy of his book, but have not met him in person.

    For about 5 years, I encouraged PWCs to try ImmunoPro, and it did help quite a few, at least temporarily, I think because it raised the glutathione levels somewhat. There were other people who could not tolerate it, and I didn't know why. Some people reported that Immunocal or other whey protein isolates were more helpful to them than ImmunoPro was. I later learned that the DAN! program for autism was not using whey protein because many of the kids are sensitive to casein, and even though casein mostly goes into the curd fraction when the curds and whey are separated, there may still be a small amount of casein in the whey. So perhaps that was one possible problem for some of the people with CFS, also. Freddd, on these forums, also found that whey protein was counterproductive for him and some others, and in his case it may be because when glutathione combines with B12, as it normally does, his cells are not able to utilize the B12, for genetic reasons.

    Over time, Dr. Cheney's enthusiasm for using whey protein supplementation cooled, as he also found that it did not produce as much benefit as he had hoped. Because of some lab data that he later received (which I suspect was misinterpreted, a view I have shared with him) he has come to believe that glutathione depletion is not as fundamental an issue in CFS as he originally thought. We continue to interact about this issue.

    In late 2004 I learned from the work of S.Jill James et al. in autism that there is a partial block in the methylation cycle in autism, which is upstream of glutathione synthesis in the metabolism, and that if this partial block is lifted, glutathione comes up automatically. I suspected the same might be true in CFS, and it has turned out to be so. So I stopped recommending ImmunoPro to raise glutathione, and switched to methylation treatment. That seems to bring glutathione up on a more permanent basis.

    I still think ImmunoPro is a very good supplement, and it has been used by people in my family (who don't have CFS, but benefit from protein and glutathione, as do all of us). So long as a person does not have an unfavorable reaction to it, perhaps for one of the reasons mentioned above, it should be a very good source of amino acids, which are often depleted in PWCs, and it should also help to support glutathione synthesis, in parallel with lifting the partial methylation cycle block.

    Best regards,

    Rich
  8. aquariusgirl

    aquariusgirl Senior Member

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    Headaches.. could be lack of molybdenum.. a necessary cofactor to process sulfates....glutathione is composed of 3 amino acids.. some of them sulphur -based..
    Rich can explain this better than i...

    I"m guessing the bad response above was caused by mobilisation of toxins.....You can't just jack up your glut, mobilise a bunch of toxins into your bloodstream & expect to feel better......you need to be prepared with chelators and binders to mop that stuff up!

    I assume that could explain the bad reax.. but excitotoxicity could be part of the mix too.
  9. snowathlete

    snowathlete

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    I know that when i started taking my vitamins and minerals recently, for two days when i started i had a bad headache. It wore off on day three and now im fine. As well as the headache i felt toxic, if that makes sense.
    So i think it was probably a herx reaction - which is afterall a medically accepted principle, caused by a host of stuff including medications. I guess if it hadnt of worn off after a week then i might have reached a different conclusion.
  10. ukxmrv

    ukxmrv Senior Member

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    The problem with arguing that it is due to mobilisation of toxins is that we have no proof that toxins are being mobilised, and if they are we will be able to get rid of them.

    It's one of the arguments that convinced me I spent so long on Immunopro although I was feeling terrible. Took a long time to recover from taking it. I'm not convinced that I experienced a herx especially after I read the hsitory of the Herxheimer effect and then searched CFS / ME papers to see if there was any proof to back this idea up.

    I'm not allergic to milk. I don't get the same effects from milk that I did from Whey protein drinks.

    Although the herx effect is accepted as part of syphillis treatment all we have for ME and CFS are theories by some doctors who believe in various protocols and tell their patients that they are experiencing a herx effect. It'd not been measured and there are no medical papers on this to prove it.

    For all we know something quite different could be going on in our bodies and explain why after a long time on Immunopro I was left much worse off.
  11. mon me

    mon me

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    Could also be an immune response. I've had similar reactions in the past.
  12. snowathlete

    snowathlete

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    Your right it could be. I know that its not just ME patients that have problems with Whey Protein mind. I dont think i am going to take the same product you took because even the company that makes it admit that some people dont get on with it. They have two other products, that are similar though, and i wonder if they are better for some reason, in this respect. I hope thats the case anyway. Only one way to find out - I guess im going to be the guinee pig.
  13. u&iraok

    u&iraok Senior Member

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    I agree, based on my experience, that you have to be careful with detoxes. Several years ago I had major detox of heavy metals. I was not trying to detox metals and I'm still not sure what caused it, I was remineralizing and taking other supplements, but I'm just not sure. About six months prior I had been in the hospital losing a baby and had a lot of drugs and antibiotics, I don't know if that had any thing to do with it.

    During the deotx I had a lot of symptoms such as headaches, weird feelings in my head, joint aches, metal taste in my mouth, fatigue, etc. I had a test and it showed heavy metals being detoxed. Sounds great and I was having 8 bowel movements a day while detoxing, but it did damage. I don't know if the metals came out of my head and did damage coming out, or overwhelmed my gut and were reabsorbed, but I had cognition and memory problems after that. I had initially developed cognition and memory problems a few years before the detox after having a series of flu shots and also getting out an amalgam but this was worse. During the detox my brain was so messed up I couldn't finish a sentence but I was also left with permanent problems to my brain. Two months later I got the the flu and ME/CFS followed.

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