Tuesday, April 14, 2009

My Opinion of New Whey Protein Bullets

A lot of people swear by the New Whey Protein Bullets. But from my own research I am not thrilled with the quality of the protein it provides for WLS patients. (It's great for bodybuilders, but not for people with altered digestive systems.)

Here's what I know:

Ingredients in New Whey Protein 42g
67.4% pure deionized water, 31.5% Actinase (patent pending blend of enzymatically hydrolyzed collagenic protein isolate, whey protein isolate and casein protein isolate), less that 2% of malic acid, vitamin c,b3,b5,b2, b1, folic acid, biotin, and b12, natural flavors, sucralose, blue-1 and red 40.

As we know, the highest percentage of ingredients are listed first, with lesser amounts listed last. So we know that of that 31.5% of protein mixture the highest amount of protein would be Collagen Protein. Next is Whey Protein Isolate, then Casein Protein Isolate. Let's look at each one:

Collagen Protein:
This is the main protein of connective tissue in animals and the most abundant protein in mammals, making up about 25% of the whole-body protein content. When broken down, collagen becomes a gelatin used in many foods such as Jell-O type desserts. It’s also used in cosmetics, pharmacology and photography industry for the production of various products. Collagen and gelatin are poor-quality protein sources since they do not contain all the essential amino acids that the human body requires - they are not complete proteins.

Whey Protein Isolate
This is the highest quality protein currently available. The BV rating is often shown at 110-159 because the BV scale was devised before Whey Protein Isolate was developed and the scale is based on the perfect protein of an egg. This form of protein has the highest bioavailability of any other form of protein.

Casein Protein Isolate
Casein is a slow-digesting protein source that actually forms a "gel" in the stomach and slowly releases it's amino acid components over several hours after ingestion. This slow release can last up to 7 hours (for comparison: Whey is released within 40 minutes). Casein is derived from milk - same protein source as if you drink a glass of milk. My concern though with this source is because it is concentrated and process to be slow-digesting, the Casein Protein Isolate may actually leave our altered/shorter digestive track before it has a chance to release all of the amino acids it contains.

And just a side note: The words "enzymatically hydrolyzed" don't really mean much. Enzymatically just means it's a "variety of protein enzyme sources" and hydrolyzed just means that the protein has been "broken down" into it's basic amino acid component.

So basically with those $3.50+ protein bullets you're paying for 68% water and 32% of a low quality combination of protein (with a little bit of good whey protein thrown in for good measure).

I personally would rather feed my body the high quality Whey Protein Isolate that is proven to be the best for my body, will be processed in less than an hour in my shorter intestines and allow me to use every single bit of what I'm drinking and not waste any protein.

EDITED 2/21/10 -- Andrea U. (all around science geek and vitamin/supplement guru) made the following comment about collagen protein.  "Collagen by itself has a PDCAAS score of .08.  I put ProteinEx (a "medical grade collagen" through a PDCAAS filter) and it had a score of 0.25"  NOTE: PDCAAS scores range from 0 to 1.0 with 1.0 being a perfect score (i.e.: whey protein, eggs).  Thanks Andrea!


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