Whey protein is one of the most popular dietary supplements today. Its popularity is rooted from its great health and fitness benefits. However, whey can also cause some negative side effects, one of which is hair loss. Does whey protein cause hair loss? No whey protein does not cause hair loss, but if you already have hair fall issues then consuming whey protein isolate can speeds up the process of hair loss.
How Exactly Does Whey Protein Cause Hair Loss?
Whey protein has many benefits, including helping you build muscle, lose fat, and maintain a healthy weight. However, there are some side effects associated with whey protein that you should be aware of before taking it. One of these is hair loss.
The exact mechanism by which whey protein causes hair loss is not known; however, there are several theories as to how this happens. One such theory is that it has an effect on testosterone levels in the body.
Testosterone plays a vital role in maintaining healthy hair follicles and preventing their premature death. This means that if there is any decline in testosterone levels due to any cause (such as aging), there will be a corresponding decline in the number of hair follicles remaining active in the scalp.
Another possible explanation for why whey protein causes hair loss is due to its high concentration of sulfur-containing amino acids (cysteine). Sulfur-containing amino acids are needed for the production of keratin.
The Real Culprits – Lactose and Gluten
Lactose is a sugar found in milk and other dairy products, including whey protein. It’s also a common trigger for an allergic reaction. A person with lactose intolerance may experience bloating, gas, or diarrhea after eating or drinking foods containing lactose. If you have these symptoms after consuming whey protein, it’s likely that the lactose content is causing your problems.
If you’re lactose intolerant, consuming whey protein could cause hair loss due to inflammation of the scalp and skin irritation. This can trigger dandruff or eczema on the scalp and result in hair loss as well as inflammation around the follicles.
Gluten is another common allergen that can cause hair loss when consumed regularly. Gluten is found in wheat products such as breads, pastas and cereals but can also be found in many other foods such as soy sauce, salad dressings and even some medications if they are made with wheat flour instead of corn starch or rice flour.
Proteins in Whey Protein
Whey protein is a dairy product made by separating the watery part of milk and concentrating what’s left. It’s popular among athletes, bodybuilders and weightlifters because it contains all the essential amino acids needed to build muscle, as well as calcium, magnesium, potassium and other minerals.
The protein in whey protein comes from two sources: alpha-lactalbumin and beta-lactoglobulin. These two proteins are found in cow’s milk and are particularly rich in sulfur-containing amino acids such as cysteine, methionine and taurine.
Sulfur-containing amino acids are important for repairing damaged tissue after injury or exercise. They can also help prevent muscle soreness after exertion.
Sulfur-containing amino acids may also help reduce cholesterol levels by blocking the absorption of dietary cholesterol from food (4). This prevents cholesterol from being deposited in your arteries, which reduces your risk of heart disease.
Is Whey Protein Gluten-free?
Whey protein is a dietary supplement made from whey, a watery by-product of cheese production. Whey protein is high in essential amino acids, which are the building blocks of muscle tissue. It’s also high in leucine, an amino acid that boosts muscle growth.
Whey protein is available as a powder or liquid concentrate that you mix into water or milk. You can also buy it in pill form (as a non-flavored powder) and add it to your food or drinks.
Whey protein comes from the process of separating milk into curds and whey. The curds are used to make cheese while the whey is processed into whey protein concentrate or isolate, so it contains more pure protein than whole milk does.
Are You Allergic to Whey Protein?
If you’re one of the millions of people who regularly use protein powder, chances are you’ve experienced a few unwanted side effects. These could include gas, bloating, and diarrhea — sometimes all at once!
You don’t have to put up with them. You can take steps to prevent these and other common side effects of whey protein. Here are a few tips:
Mix your whey protein powder with water or juice, not milk or other dairy products. Whey protein is made from cow’s milk. If you’re lactose intolerant or allergic to dairy products, mixing your whey protein powder with something that contains lactose or casein (the main protein found in milk) can cause gas and diarrhea. Milk also contains sugar and fat, which can contribute to weight gain if you’re not careful about how much you eat.
Choose a brand that doesn’t contain added ingredients. Some whey proteins come with additional ingredients such as artificial sweeteners and flavors that might trigger allergies or digestive problems for some people. Look for brands that list only “100% whey” as an ingredient on their label — no artificial flavors or colors!
Signs of Dairy Allergy or Lactose Intolerance
To determine whether your hair loss is related to dairy, you should eliminate all dairy from your diet for two weeks and then reintroduce it slowly over the course of another two weeks. If your symptoms disappear during that time, they may return if you consume any amount of dairy. You may also notice changes in your bowel movements or other symptoms associated with lactose intolerance or a dairy allergy.
What Else Can You Do To Stop Hair Loss?
There are many nutritional factors that may contribute to hair loss:
- Iron deficiency can cause anemia, which is associated with thinning hair. If you are anemic and taking iron supplements or eating iron-rich foods like spinach or lean meat will help correct this condition.
- B vitamins (especially B12) can help prevent folate deficiency, which may lead to hair loss. A vitamin B complex supplement can help keep your energy levels up while improving your overall health.
- Omega-3 fatty acids like fish oil help produce prostaglandins that stimulate the production of healthy cells in the scalp and reduce inflammation in the body.
Proteins in Whey protein can potentially cause hair loss because this supplement is rich in proteins and most of these protein sources are derived from animal source.