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Is Whey protein harmful and lead to Acne, Hair Loss, and Kidney Damage?



The majority of people are familiar with Whey protein. It is very popular among fitness freaks. Protein is an essential part of our daily diet.


Whey protein is used as a supplement, alongside exercise to increase strength and build muscles. It is also helpful in losing weight and reducing fat.


So, if you are here. You have probably heard many claims about Whey protein.


Some of them say that there are some harmful effects of Whey protein on the body. As per them, it can cause-


Kidney Damage


Hair Loss


But worry not, we are going to clear each and every doubt of yours regarding Whey protein. We will also break every myth with the help of proper facts and study.


What is Whey protein? 


Protein Scoop | Is whey protein harmful


It is one of the main proteins found in Dairy-based products. In the cheese-making process, the watery portion of the milk gets separated from the curd. The same watery portion is called whey protein.


Are there any harmful effects of Whey protein? 


On Kidney:


Kidney | Is whey protein harmful


1) No evidence till now can prove that it affects your kidneys


2) People who already have kidney problems (medical condition) and are taking Whey protein can be affected


3) Kidneys remove fluids and waste products from our blood by filtering them. In a healthy kidney, the flow of fluid will be high


4) If you have a kidney problem this flow will be reduced. Upon taking a protein shake the flow is increased. Hence, more load on kidneys


5) People who have kidney problems should take a low protein diet. Taking any form of protein can put pressure on their kidneys


So, if you have healthy kidneys then taking whey protein will not damage them.


Hair Loss:


Hair Loss | Is whey protein harmfull


1) No study shows that Whey protein can cause hair loss.


2) It does not cause baldness. This protein is very safe if used in a balanced diet.


3) High levels of testosterone cause hair loss. When testosterone is present in your body at high levels it makes the hair follicles thin and that results in baldness.


4) There is a study that proves that Whey protein intake doesn’t increase testosterone levels. So, how can it cause hair loss?


5) Baldness can also be because of genes. So blaming Whey protein is wrong. No harmful effect of Whey protein is found.




Acne | Is whey protein harmful


1) There is no direct research that can prove that Whey protein leads to acne.


2) Sebaceous gland is responsible for producing an oily substance called sebum. It is present in the skin and an increase in the Sebaceous gland results in acne. Testosterone, DHT, and IGF are some factors that affect the sebaceous gland. While there is no evidence of Whey protein affecting any of the hormones.


4) Insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF1) is the hormone that is responsible for making acne worse.


5) There is small evidence that dairy products may increase IGF1 hormone. Considering, Whey as a dairy-based protein supplement. It may cause acne but no direct research has proved this.


6) Those people who are prone to acne must not use dairy-based proteins. They can use plant-based or soy-based protein supplements.


According to a study published in the “Austin Journal of Nutrition and Food Sciences” To date, no severe adverse reactions have been associated with the administration of whey products.


Types of Commercially Available Whey Proteins:


1) Whey Protein Isolate Protein concentration in this variant is about 90-95%


2) Whey Protein Concentrate Protein concentration in this variant ranges from 25-89%. The most commonly available is of 80% concentration


3) Hydrolyzed Whey Protein This product has a variable concentration of protein. The Fat, lactose, and Mineral Content in this variant also varies with the protein concentration


Given the variety of different whey products available in the market, you can select products for specific indications.


For athletes or those looking for a highly absorbable, low allergen protein source, hydrolyzed whey may be a good option.


In all cases, the presence of fat, lactose, and minerals should also be considered.


Benefits of Whey Protein:


According to the study published in the article “Peptides and Proteins in Whey and Their Benefits for Human Health” by- Rie Tsutsumi and Yasuo M.Tsutsumi. There are several benefits of Whey Protein.


1) Anticancer properties In a recent clinical trial, 20 patients with stage IV malignancies were given 40-gram whey in combination with supplements. The 16 survivors demonstrated increased levels of natural killer cell function, GSH, and hemoglobin 6 months later.


2) Hepatitis BIn a trial, 8 Patients were given 12 grams of Whey daily. That demonstrated improvement in liver function markers and serum ALT activity was also reduced.


3) Controls High Blood pressureThe study suggested that the patients who were regularly taking Whey protein saw a significant reduction in Blood pressure.


The above study also claims that Whey Protein may also help in certain health conditions such as HIV, Stress adaptation, Gastrointestinal Support, Osteoporosis, Sarcopenia, and muscle wasting.


Whey protein will likely provide positive and beneficial changes to the metabolic status of healthy and diseased patients.




Whey protein is likely to be safe for most adults when used within a limit.


High doses can cause symptoms such as increased bowel movements, nausea, thirst, fatigue, bloating, cramps, and reduced appetite.


So, with the help of some studies and references, we can say that there are no long-term harmful effects of Whey protein on the body.


Consumption of the same protein does not lead to health problems like Kidney damage or hair loss. In some cases, it may or may not increase acne.


We hope you like the article. Do share it in your circle and help people to know about the real facts of Whey protein.



Written by: Ritika Mittal

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