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March 15, 2007

Study Finds Heat-Processed Protein Drinks Send "Bad" Cholesterol Skyrocketing

In a previous post we warned you about the harmful effects of UHT (also known as Ultra Heat Treated, Ultra High Temperature, or Ultra Pasteurized) treated protein products, including certain types of milk and many of the ready-to-drink protein supplements on the market.  A new study published in the International Journal of Food Science and Nutrition found that UHT-treated protein drinks containing either soy protein, or casein protein both significantly increased LDL cholesterol by 17% or 19% respectively in just 4 weeks!

That’s 17 to 19% Increase in LDL cholesterol ALONE - NOT total cholesterol.  As we’ve shown previously, LDL cholesterol, when oxidized, is what causes the arterial plaque, or clogged arteries of heart disease.  Anything that increases LDL levels by this amount, and so quickly, is BAD NEWS.

Common UHT treated protein products include:

Ready-to-drink protein shakes in cans and aseptic cartons
Soymilk
Ultra Pasteurized Milk of all types

You Might As Well Eat French Fries

To put this increase in perspective, the study authors show that these heat-treated drinks increased LDL cholesterol levels similarly to the deadly trans fatty acids found in hydrogenated oils.  But, the bitter irony is that unlike hydrogenated oils, many high-heat-treated protein drinks are sold to the supposedly “health conscious” consumer. 

But It Says Zero Cholesterol!

Now we have several blogs and articles on www.IntegratedSupplements.com which tell consumers to beware of the cholesterol in their protein powders and drinks, and this is still good advice, as powdered cholesterol is particularly prone to harmful oxidation. But, it’s important to realize that the protein drinks used in this study didn’t contain any cholesterol!  They caused their harmful effects by some other means – so just because a product has no cholesterol in it doesn’t mean that it won’t significantly elevate your cholesterol levels, or be detrimental to your health.

It turns out that it was probably the toxic effects of denatured protein – caused by high heat processing - which caused cholesterol levels to skyrocket in the study participants.

What’s So Bad About Denatured Proteins?

The studies findings were particularly surprising to the researchers because of the fact that soy protein has previously been shown to lower cholesterol levels, not significantly increase them like in this study.  The studies authors speculate that the high heat used in processing denatured the proteins and may have led to the substantial increase in LDL cholesterol.

Are you starting to see why we make a big deal out of the fact that Integrated Supplements 100% Natural Whey Protein Isolate contains protein that is over 99% Undenatured?  This study shows that denatured proteins aren’t just wasted, they can actually be HARMFUL, causing profound metabolic disruption.  Make no mistake about it, anything that increases LDL by this amount is TOXIC.

You may have known that denatured proteins were bad, but I’ll bet you never knew they were this bad.  We’re talking about MAJOR metabolic disruption here, and MAJOR implications for public health if people keep drinking heat-treated protein drinks.

How Bad Are They Again?

Lets put it in perspective once more.  It has been shown that just a 10% decrease in TOTAL cholesterol in 34 to 44 year old men can reduce heart attack risk by half (Law et al. 1994).  So, what do you think a 19% increase in LDL ALONE would do to heart attack risk?  Send it into the stratosphere, that’s what.

This is BIG news with very serious health implications.  If people think ready-to-drink protein shakes are even remotely healthy, this study shows that they are SERIOUSLY mistaken, and that they may unknowingly be compromising their health with these products.

I’ve personally talked to several people whose cholesterol levels were significantly increased while drinking canned and aseptic-packaged protein drinks, so studies like this help make the connection all the more clear.  I never knew for sure if there was a direct correlation, but this study backs up what I’ve seen firsthand. 

Money Makes the World Go ‘Round

How many people do you know who’ve “tried everything” to reduce their cholesterol with no success, only to resort to potentially toxic statin drugs and the like?  Do you think they’d like to read this imformation?

Their increased convenience, shelf life, and profitability ensures that even with studies like this, these drinks aren’t going anywhere for a while.  They’ll continue to be sold to the uneducated and unsuspecting consumer.  But, you now know better.   

Please help us get the word out so that people may make informed decisions when it comes to such an important topic.  Please send this post out to as many people as you can who may currently be consuming:

Ready-to-drink protein shakes in cans and aseptic cartons
Soymilk
Ultra Pasteurized Milk (Even Skim Milk)

Are you beginning to see just how little care goes into formulating nutritional products?  Are you beginning to see that some companies just want your money and don’t care about your health?  Are you beginning to see that you need to always be very careful what you put in your body? 

And are you beginning to see why you’ve got to seek out products made by a company which DOES care about your health?

Hey, that’s us!

(And for those of you who just can’t get enough science, here’s a link to the study.)

http://www.nutripharma.com/Press_Room/Press_Archive/2007/filestore/10Hoie2006.pdf

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