Does Whey Protein Cause Heart Attacks?

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And since when it has been causing such grave diseases?

How many evidences or researches support these claims?

With the sudden deaths of movie stars like Siddharth Shukla, Puneeth Rajkumar, who were still in their early or mid 40s, the blame game started.

What’s the easiest target? Let’s blame the gyms and fitness centers, and share some blame with the dietary supplements also. An easy way to shrug off the responsibility, and play the blame game, when you don’t have an exact answer.

Let’s stick to protein supplements here. And when it comes to supplement, let’s choose the highest quality whey protein for assessment.

Why whey? This is because the highest quality proteins when considered in terms of PDCAAS/DIAAS score are generally animal proteins like milk, whey, casein, eggs, and beef, which have PDCAAS at or very near 1.0.

Whey is the most commonly used protein supplement around the world. It has more benefits than most people know about, especially in India. High quality whey protein is the finest protein supplement for all age groups, and can be safely consumed by the entire family, including children, pregnant women and elderly.

It is not just for athletes or gym freaks, but high quality pure whey protein is being recommended around the world, by top medical professionals, for various diseases like HIV, cancer, diabetes, high cholesterol/triglyceride levels, and even in patients with liver diseases, as its very easy to digest and don’t put a load on the liver or the kidney.

On the other hand, I tried to unearth and collect the researches or evidences available on why and how can something so beneficial for the human body, suddenly be termed as damaging.

Believe me, I couldn’t find one single research study which has linked whey protein intake to cardiovascular diseases.

In fact, the limited evidences have tried to warn people of something totally different, but instead have named their research papers in a way which scares the hell out of a person, who is oblivion to the real facts, and blindly believe these papers.

For e.g. a paper titled “The Dangers of Protein Drink Supplements”, would obviously sound scary to someone who hasn’t understood the context of the paper. Here is what the paper summarized after all the research:

Commercial protein drinks are meant for boosting protein level in the body; however, undesired substances also enter the body through protein supplemental drinks and cause undesired effects. Heavy metal contaminant is one of the undesired substance, and can accumulate to a risky level with multiple servings of protein drinks per day.

Pro-hormones are also found, with or without being listed on the ingredient label. Pro-hormones are found to disturb natural hormonal balance in the body and may be harmful in growth or sex development in adolescents and children, and other undesired side effects on adults.”

Is the entire summary even about whey protein? It’s simply about the undesired & toxic substances, which may enter your body through cheap quality adulterated whey proteins.

But markets today have a range of extremely high quality whey protein supplements, which have been tested by the world’s finest labs for virtually any type of contamination, be it anabolic steroids, heavy metals, amino spiking, unwanted flavours, colours & additives, and even artificial sweeteners and sugar.

Blaming contaminated whey protein supplement is like asking someone to stop drinking water, as it may be contaminated. But you have the finest water filters now in your households, which makes sure that you get the purest water for your family. It’s the contaminants we need to remove and blame, not the food source as such.

Same was the case with Harvard review article, which ultimately warned people of the above mentioned contaminants, which can be present in protein supplements; along with added sugars, artificial flavouring, thickeners etc.

On the other hand, there is simply no evidence or proof of any heart related ailments with the intake of whey protein supplement. The research proves a link between excess protein from animal source proteins specially red meat or processed meat, with cancer and heart disease. What’s an amazing supplement like high quality pure whey got to do with this?

It’s like saying, that excess intake of sugar filled beverages can contribute to obesity, diabetes and other metabolic disorders. So, one should stop drinking all beverages, irrespective.

On the other hand, not one, but multiple human studies have shown amazing benefits of whey protein supplementation on human health, providing protection against a wide range of metabolic diseases such as dyslipidaemia, hypertension, obesity, and type 2 diabetes. 

For e.g. world’s top testing labs like Cologne List, Informed Sports, NSF, BSCG etc. test and verify dietary supplements for any form of banned substances such as drugs of abuse, anabolic agents, stimulants, beta-2 agonists, diuretics and new and emerging threats such as Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators (SARM’s), Vaptans and Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptors (PPAR’s), etc.

Heavy Metal testing is done to ensure no presence of contaminants that impact health, including the toxic elements lead, mercury, arsenic, cadmium and chromium; presence of microorganisms, yeast and moulds, and pesticides, and solvents.

With no doubts left in mind, one point is still to be discussed and clarified.

If these statements come from normal individuals, it may be acceptable. But when they come from medical professionals and top doctors, it not just shows a clear disconnect between the medical and fitness community; but also a complete misunderstanding of the supplements and the real research behind them.

Doctors don’t study supplements, or may be a very small part of it in form of certain ingredients. Because of which there are doctors recommending supplements which have been proven clearly to be useless (in most cases even harmful) for the purpose they are being sold.

On the other hand, similar doctors are refusing people from taking the highest and purest quality supplements, and instead asking them to take the worst an cheapest quality sugar and additive filled supplements, either because of complete ignorance or for heavy profits which they get in form of commissions from these brands.

Whatever the case may be, the worst effected is the end user.