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Whey Protein Isolate: A Lifeline for Those with Lactose Intolerance

Published : Dec 20, 2021 2 mins read Updated On : Mar 20, 2024

Is Whey milk?

Lactose Intolerant People Drink Whey Protein Isolate

Not really.

Milk is composed of 2 parts, casein, and whey. While casein is used to make cheese, the by-product that is left out is Whey.

And Whey Protein Isolate is made out of the goodness of this second component of milk.

Since whey is not exactly milk, can lactose-intolerant people drink Whey Protein Isolate?

But before we answer this question, it's time to know about Whey Protein Isolate and Lactose Intolerance in brief.

What is Lactose Intolerance?

Lactose Intolerance

Lactose is the sugary component found in milk and therefore, intolerance is the inability of the stomach to digest milk leading to irritation and discomfort. This is caused by the absence of an enzyme called lactase that is primarily responsible for digesting the sugar lactose.

This discomfort is in fact more common than perceived, with 65% of the world’s population experiencing difficulty in digesting lactose post-childhood, according to a published study

With a such a high ratio of individuals having difficulty, there have been introduced several lactose-free, special dairy products in the market for lactose intolerant people.

Now, let’s have a quick detailed glimpse at Whey Protein Isolate.

Whey Protein Isolate and its Types

Whey Protein is the liquid component of milk that is left behind after curdling it while the solid part called casein is separated from the top. The liquid whey is then powdered and there you have the protein-packed Whey Protein powder.

With 9 essential amino acids and comparatively fewer carbs, whey is widely preferred by fitness enthusiasts and those with an active lifestyle for the bulk of protein it provides.

However, whey protein itself is of 3 fundamental types: isolated, Hydrolyzed, and concentrated.

If we start from the very end, Concentrate comprises around 80% of proteins with carbs and fats while its neighbor, Hydrolyze, contains almost the same percentage of proteins but is partially digested to make it easier. The first and the candidate in focus here is the purest form containing around 90% or more proteins with fewer carbs and fats.

And carbs and fats are not the only 2 components drastically reduced in whey isolate, it also contains only a minute quantity of lactose.
And with this we move on to the main culmination, that is,

Lactose Intolerance and Whey Protein Isolate

Lactose Intolerance and Whey Protein Isolate

The answer to the main question of ‘Can Lactose Intolerant People Drink Whey Isolate?’ is neither a simple yes nor a complete no. Just like whey has different types, so does the severity of Lactose Intolerance in various folks.

Thus, the effect that Whey Protein Isolate has or might have on every lactose-intolerant individual differs accordingly. While whey isolate has minuscule lactose, it still is milk and therefore, has it. This complicates things a little bit.

But the positive part here is that, if the intolerance to lactose is mild then whey protein isolate can prove to be your protein-packed low-lactose source without much effect.

However, as the severity of lactose intolerance increases, so does the irritation, and thereby, it is advised for you to first seek medical advice before opting for whey isolate. Since intolerance can thereby also lead to whey intolerance if the sensitivity to lactose is comparatively higher.
It is thus, advisable to first try a little whey isolate or seek advice from a medical professional and only then decide to resume or avoid whey protein isolate.

Doris D Silva
Doris D Silva
General Wellbeing

Doris is enthusiastic about writing blogs on general wellbeing through her extensive research. She firmly believes in the importance of spreading correct, factual information and thereby, her blogs... Read More

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