If you live a high-stress life or have any type of hormone-related sexual dysfunction, you might want to look at the type of protein you're eating.
As you may know, we need to get plenty of protein in our diet every day. But not all protein is created equal. And some types might actually encourage stress-related health problems and contribute to sexual problems.
The Journal of the American College of Nutrition published a study in 2013 that compared the effects of whey and soy protein supplements. The researchers wanted to know how these proteins affected men in their early 20s who did regular resistance weight training. So they randomly selected the men to consume 20 grams of whey protein isolate, soy protein isolate, or maltodextrin (placebo) every day before engaging in heavy resistance exercise. The researchers didn't allow the participants to take any other supplements during the study. And they excluded men who were vegetarians, vegans, or on high-protein diets.
What the researchers found is that the proteins played a significant role in the hormonal balance of the men. They discovered that the men taking the whey supplement had significantly lower stress hormone (cortisol) levels after the exercise than those taking the placebo. That means the whey protein helped the men recover from the stress of the exercise to the point that their bodies didn't need to produce more cortisol.
Cortisol is a very dangerous hormone. Research has shown that elevated levels can cause memory problems and weight gain, lower immune function and bone density, and increase your risk for high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and heart disease. So lower levels are better for you.
However, that's not all the researchers found. They also discovered that the men who took the soy protein had significantly lower blood levels of testosterone. Testosterone, as you may know, tends to be too low in many health issues, such as erectile dysfunction and low libido. And a deficiency can cause difficulty concentrating, osteoporosis, and heart problems.
So if you struggle with any of these health problems, take a look at the type of protein you're eating. Soy isn't a bad protein — it has many health benefits — but you do want to keep your intake low to moderately low. Most of us get plenty in our diets and don't need to supplement with soy protein. Instead, get your supplemental protein from whey protein.
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As I mentioned last week, not all whey protein is the same. There's one type from German cows that's better than anything produced in the U.S. You can read all about it by following this link.
Your insider for better health,
Steve Kroening is the editor of Nutrient Insider, a twice-a-week email newsletter that brings you the latest healing breakthroughs from the world of nutrition and dietary supplements. For over 20 years, Steve has worked hand-in-hand with some of the nation's top doctors, including Drs. Robert Rowen, Frank Shallenberger, Nan Fuchs, William Campbell Douglass, and best-selling author James Balch. Steve is the author of the book Practical Guide to Home Remedies. As a health journalist, Steve's articles have appeared in countless magazines, blogs, and websites.