All Protein Powders Are Not Created Equal: Ori Hofmekler Explains

Posted by – December 16, 2013
Categories: Food & Nutrition

Protein Powders: A Review (excerpt from The Warrior Diet) by Ori Hofmekler

For athletes or bodybuilders interested in keeping their protein consumption high during the day, protein powders could be an instant alternative to cooked meals. However, it’s very important to choose the right one. Protein powders are divided into three groups: dairy, soy, and egg.

Whey Protein
Whey (a dairy protein) is considered by many nutritionists to be one of the best powders for its immuno-supportive properties. It’s also a complete protein food. A good whey protein powder should contain two factors to make it viable and potent:
1. Immunoglobulins—proteins that support the immune system by containing compounds that trigger immunity antigenic activity against pathogens and infections.
2. Growth factors—these translate in your body as growth hormone derivatives, promoting tissue repair,muscular development, and rejuvenation.

Commercial Whey Protein
Unfortunately, most commercial whey protein manufacturers compromise on the immunoglobulins (the protein that supports the immune system). And, as far as I know, none contain any growth factors. Growth factors (especially IGF-1) are bound to the fat globules of the raw dairy. High-temperature processing, pasteurization, and removal of the fat completely eviscerates commercial whey powders of their natural healing properties.

Protein shakeTo top it all, many of these powders are loaded with estrogenic chemicals. The beef and dairy industries use estrogenic hormones to increase cattle weight and tenderize the meat with layers of fat. Prolactin (a milk-producing hormone) is often added to the drug mixture to stimulate milk production. Prolactin has a devastating blocking effect on testosterone. Derivatives of all these toxins may appear in the milk and products that are derived from milk, unless they’re made from organic milk.

Do your own research. Look for products made from pesticide-free, hormone-free dairy and check the processing methods and ingredients used.

Lactoferrin, the Magic Bullet
Lactoferrin is a major immune-supportive protein in mother’s milk that protects babies from bacterial infections. It’s also the best iron scavenger. Lactoferrin is abundant in good-quality colostrums and whey protein, but it rarely appears in commercial dairy protein powders. Lactoferrin can be beneficial in more than one way. In addition to its iron scavenging abilities, lactoferrin deposits iron in places where the body really needs it.

Iron oxidation is a tremendous problem, not just because it can toxify the tissues, but also because it feeds the bad bacteria in your intestinal tract, such as the pathogenic bacteria that cause yeast infections.

Some researchers believe that lactoferrin has anticancerous properties, and scientists surmise that lactoferrin contains other healing properties, including the possibility that it may eventually combat chronic diseases such as AIDS and cancer. These issues need further research. Nonetheless, based on current data, lactoferrin could be one of the most promising “dairy derivative” healing aids in the future.

Dairy Protein Powders
Regrettably, whey protein powders are not the only protein powders with problems. Most dairy protein powders on the market today are just not “clean.” For instance, dairy protein powders (the most highly consumed protein powders) are generally produced cheaply with overaggressive processing methods. As a result, they often contain damaged protein and toxic byproducts.

This can have a terrible effect on your body. Besides being toxic, what’s possibly most upsetting is that some of their damaged or twisted protein is deposited in body tissues, compromising the integrity of the tissue fibers. Such products may eventually damage lean tissues in your muscles or skin. Pasteurization alone can potentiate negative side effects. The process separates the milk from the friendly bacteria within it, which is killed by the heat. The acidity of pasteurized dairy also increases to the point that it’s no longer
natural (raw milk has neutral to alkaline pH). Since raw (unpasteurized) milk is illegal in many states, the only alternative I know of is low-temperature processed, freeze- or air-dried pasteurized dairy powders, which retain most ingredients in their natural state.

Soy Protein Powders
I don’t use soy protein powders. There are several reasons why:
• Pasteurized processed soy powder loses a lot of its nutritional value when compared to the whole soybeans.
• Soy protein is high in protein-inhibitor substances, like phytates, which may also inhibit mineral digestion and iodine absorption, thereby impairing thyroid hormone production. (An under-active thyroid leads to slow metabolism, fatigue, and impotence.) The Undereating Phase requires that you eat only protein that’s easily assimilated, which does not include soy.
• Soy protein contains isoflavones that may accelerate an already existing estrogenic disorder in some people. Soy isoflavones are estrogenlike substances that have been shown to bind to estrogen receptors in the body and mimic the actions of the hormone estrogen.
• Many people are sensitive to soy. Soy is one of the most allergenic foods, especially when it’s highly processed.
• Most soy powder supplements are loaded with fillers and gums that may irritate your guts and cause bloating and pain.
• The fiber in textured vegetable soy protein is harsh and tough. I don’t recommend it for anyone who has a sensitive digestive tract. This said, sometimes I like to have whole soybeans (edamame) during the Overeating Phase as a complementary source of protein from whole food. The isoflavones in whole soybeans are less bioactive than those in soy protein isolate or tofu, and thus can be neutralized by the liver before inducing any estrogenic effects.

Egg-Protein Powders
I personally do not consume commercial egg-protein powders. However, whole fertile or organic eggs are a very good source of protein, minerals, vitamins, nucleotides, and essential fatty acids. Unlike sterile eggs, fertile eggs carry both X and Y chromosomes.

Therefore, I recommend consuming eggs, preferably fertile, mainly for the Overeating Phase, but once in a while it’s okay to eat eggs during the Undereating Phase.Make sure that you consume the whole egg,with the yolk. Those who like to consume egg whites only as a source of protein should try to keep a ratio of about four egg whites to one yolk. The yolk contains many vital nutrients, so don’t skip it.

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Based in Berkeley, California, Talia is the Online Marketing Lead for North Atlantic Books. She works with a full roster of authors, promoting titles in alternative health, nutrition, spirituality, sustainability, literature, and pop culture. She manages NABCommunities.com and has a passion for social networking. In her free time, Talia enjoys visiting her local farmers' markets, cooking, doing yoga, hiking, and curling up with a good book.