Immune system

By Dr. Jean-Francois Lesgardes

Protelicious is a whey protein concentrate obtained through a cold microfiltration process that guarantees the preservation of the quality of proteins in their native form (as in milk) so that your immune system benefits from the complete amino acid profile. That's why daily protein intake with this product will provide your body with a healthy source of high-quality, fully available amino acids (AAs). This is not the case with whey treated at high temperature and with acids or bases.

Primarily, amino acids strengthen and support our white blood cells (lymphocytes), which are the body's first line of defense against pathogens (Lodoen, M. & Lanier, L., 2006). Our lymphocytes need specific amino acids in order to function optimally; sulfur amino acids (cysteine, methionine), glutamine and leucine – all of which are found in Protelicious. Additionally, sulfur amino acids work to synthesize a molecule called glutathione (GSH), which enables our white blood cells to effectively identify and destroy harmful bacteria before they enter and infect our bodies (Dröge and Breitkreutz, 2000).

Research from Wuhan Laboratories has very recently noted that the number of T cells is significantly reduced in patients with COVID-19 and surviving T cells appear functionally depleted (Diao B et al., 2020). These T cells need some special AAs to be at their peak: sulfur AAs (cysteine ​​and methionine), glutamine and leucine. In particular sulfur AAs will synthesize a key molecule for cell health called glutathione (GSH) which allows these 2 lineages of white blood cells to function effectively thus improving the identification and destruction of harmful bacteria and viruses (Droge W and Breitkreutz R, 2000) (Grimble RF, Grimble GK, 1998) (Maciolek JA et al., 2014) (Wang K et al., 2017).

The second pathway is complementary to the first: to be effective, white blood cells will have to produce immunoglobulins or antibodies that will recognize viruses and bacteria and bind them to prevent their entry (infection) into our cells such as lung cells in the event of coronavirus. Whey is naturally very rich in immunoglobulins (10-15% of total protein) and even though these proteins are digested before they reach our blood and organs, they will provide the body with a good amount and ratio of AAs to help white blood cells to synthesize new immunoglobulins. In particular immunoglobulin A (IgA), which is found in high concentrations in the mucous membranes, especially those lining the respiratory tract (so essential in the case of coronavirus or influenza) and immunoglobulin G (IgG) , the most abundant type of antibody that protects against bacterial and viral infections.

Studies have shown that whey protein supplementation significantly increases immunoglobulin G levels (Bumrungpert A, et al., 2018).

A third pathway is the antioxidant/anti-inflammatory potential of whey.

During infection with a virus like COVID-19 or others, the body experiences increased oxidation caused by certain aggressive molecules that contain oxygen called “reactive oxygen species (ROS)”: this produces a status called oxidative stress which is also associated with excessive inflammation.

Once again, thanks to the exceptional richness of whey in the sulfur amino acids cysteine ​​and methionine compared to other protein sources (such as vegetable protein concentrates for example), the boost in the synthesis of GSH (glutathione ) which is the main antioxidant in the body will fight this oxidative and inflammatory state (Bounous G and Gold P , 1991).

Improving GSH which regulates the oxidative state in all cells of an organism will also prevent viral replications like influenza and other respiratory viruses (Geiler J et al., 2010) and potentially alleviate symptoms and improve survival (McCarty MF et al., 2010) (De Flora S et al., 1997) (Mata M et al., 2012) (Nencioni L et al., 2003). Moreover, in prevention, increasing GSH can also avoid susceptibility to influenza or corona infection before we are exposed to such viruses (Cai J et al., 2003) (Khomich OA et al ., 2018) (Ghezzi P et al., 2004).

A fourth mechanism by which whey proteins and certain AAs such as glutamine in particular can improve our immune system is through a contribution to the regulation of intestinal health by protecting the intestinal membrane and the balance of bacteria (a mixture of "good and "bad" or pathogenic bacteria, fungi and other microorganisms) in the intestine.