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Your Whey Protein and Whey Isolate May Not Be Gluten-Free: Beware "Glutamine Peptides"
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April 25, 2012
4:42 am
First-Eater
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February 22, 2010
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No, whey protein isn't paleo...but it sure is convenient to have a portable, non-perishable, and relatively cheap source of quickly-digested protein for when I don't have access to real food or the time to cook it.

However, as with any dietary supplement, we must always be on the alert for misleading packaging or adulterants—as white pills and white powders all look basically the same.

This is yet another reason to prefer real food: it's much harder to counterfeit eggs, vegetables, or a steak than it is to counterfeit pills and powders.

How I Found The Gluten

I purchase unflavored whey protein for…

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April 25, 2012
5:36 am
Paul Verizzo
Guest

1. "Whey" I use powdered egg protein when I want something like this, not that I knew this! PEP works great to hold an oil and water in suspension, too, like coconut oil, water, and cocoa powder. (Yum!)

2. The amount of sucralose in the experiments cited was HUGE! The smallest dose group was 100 mg/kg of body weight. The maximum "allowed" by the FDA is 5 mg/kg. It was so much that they had to gavage it in, i.e., force feed. ("Say, let's see what happens if we force a pound a day of salt into you.")

I'm surprised that you didn't catch this!

[Note from JS: the mystery is solved.  Look down seven posts, to my reply at 6:28 AM.]

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April 25, 2012
5:50 am
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Paul:

Where did you get the 100 mg/kg figure?  Quoting the abstract: "These changes occurred at Splenda dosages that contained sucralose at 1.1-11 mg/kg."

These are dosages easily reachable via consumption of diet soda.  1.1 mg/kg is about 80 mg of sucralose for a human. Since sucralose is roughly 600 times as sweet as sugar, that's 48-60 grams of sugar equivalent, or 12-15 teaspoons of sugar equivalent.  A 16-ounce bottle of Coke has 52g of sugar, so a single 16 ounce diet soda probably gets you to 1.1 mg/kg.

JS

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April 25, 2012
6:16 am
Beowulf
Guest

Well, that made me toss the remaining L-glutamine supplement powder in my house. I haven't used it in ages (so it's probably "bad" anyway), but I wouldn't even want to eat it now knowing that it's made from wheat.

I'm happy I'm not a Splenda person. I've never figured out how they got away with the advertising slogan "Made from sugar so it tastes like sugar." My grandmother has tried to serve me items containing it several times. After tasting the weird flavor, I check the package and sure enough it's that darn sucralose.

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April 25, 2012
6:19 am
Paul Verizzo
Guest

I only read the abstract, and it says "Splenda was administered by oral gavage at 100, 300, 500, or 1000 mg/kg to male Sprague-Dawley rats."

So, not sure how they got down to 1.1 mg/kg.

To throw another confounder into this, while Splenda uses the maltose carrier, I'll bet that the soda companies don't bother with that and use straight sucralose. No reason to pay for the maltose, which is there mostly to give a retail "volume for volume" equivalent to sugar.

I trust you to get to the bottom of this, even if it proves me wrong!

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April 25, 2012
6:19 am
First-Eater
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Beowulf:

Pure L-glutamine is fine to consume...it's "glutamine peptides" that you don't want.  Perhaps I should clarify this in the article.  (Though I admit I've never been clear on the benefits of consuming isolated glutamine.)

JS

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April 25, 2012
6:22 am
Jason Seib
Guest

@Paul From the abstract: These changes occurred at Splenda dosages that contained sucralose at 1.1-11 mg/kg (the US FDA Acceptable Daily Intake for sucralose is 5 mg/kg).

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April 25, 2012
6:24 am
Jason Seib
Guest

@Paul, Sorry I guess J covered this while I was typing. :)

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April 25, 2012
6:28 am
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Paul:

That's because packets of Splenda are mostly made of dextrose and maltodextrin: if they were pure sucralose, there would only be a few grains in the packet!  (It's 600 times as sweet as sugar: think about it.)  The dextrose and maltodextrins are there to fluff it up and give it a similar volume to the quantity of sugar it's intended to replace.  

Thus, oral gavage of 100-1000 mg/kg of Splenda gives the mice 1.1-11 mg/kg of sucralose.  Mystery solved! 

Of course, when sucralose is used in an actual product, they don't bother with the maltodextrins.

JS

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April 25, 2012
6:40 am
Halifax, UK
Gnoll
Forum Posts: 365
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June 5, 2011
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I hold the ingredient principle close when buying food in packaging.

If the list of ingredients is longer than the description of the food, chances are there's a load of stuff you just don't want to eat. Buy a tub of Greek Yoghurt, I don't want to see sugar, preservative and flavouring in the ingredients – I want it to say "milk".

Another big one to watch out for is transglutaminase - meat glue. Next time you have a nice marbled steak, take care to establish that it is not simply smaller pieces of meat stuck together. This stuff is apparently undetectable to even cultured palates and looks the business.

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Living in the Ice Age http://livingintheiceage.pjgh.co.uk
April 25, 2012
6:58 am
Howard
Guest

You did not mention the *reason* for the addition of wheat proteins to damned near *everything* that comes in a box or can (you have to carefully read labels in order to find the rare exception).

As Dr. Wm Davis (the author of Wheat Belly http://sn.im/wheatbelly ) discovered, it is added because it is a powerful appetite stimulant. You add gliadin to just about anything, and people will consume more of it (even if the taste is yucky), and therefore will buy more, increasing sales and profits for the companies that use it.

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April 25, 2012
7:10 am
Marilyn
Guest

Wouldn't a Gnoll GROWL rather than WHOOP at such a discovery?

"Most whey powders are so heavily flavored and sweetened that they could be made of laundry detergent and no one would notice." Around here, I can buy Dean's heavy whipping cream, which has one ingredient: cream. All the other brands of "heavy whipping cream" first list "milk" (skim milk, if my memory serves me), then eventually "cream," along with several additives, one of which *IS* a detergent! I guess if you're going to make "whipping cream" out of skim milk, you have to have something to make it foam up when you whip it?

But it's all good, ya know, because the cream with the additives is lower in fat and lower in calories than the Dean's brand. . .

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April 25, 2012
7:11 am
Kassandra
Guest

Well that explains why I couldn't use the "100% whey protein" I tried a while back. I had a reaction just like glutening when I attempted it, so I threw it out, but I could never figure out what on the label was the offending ingredient. (I have celiac, and I'm reasonably sensitive to even small amounts of gluten contamination). Thanks for the clarification, I'm glad to have that mystery solved!
Since then I've been able to rearrange some of my schedule to allow for more cooking, so I've just been eating real stuff, but it's good to know there are gluten free options if I decided to try supplements again.

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April 25, 2012
9:54 am
Elihu
Guest

The Splenda study referenced seems to have been refuted, as per the item below. I have no way of knowing if this refutation is valid, or industry-influenced, but you should have noted it.

Expert panel report on a study of Splenda in male rats.
Brusick D, Borzelleca JF, Gallo M, Williams G, Kille J, Wallace Hayes A, Xavier Pi-Sunyer F, Williams C, Burks W.
Source
Independent Consultant, 123 Moody Creek Rd., Bumpass, VA 23024, USA. brusick41@aol.com
Abstract
A recent study in rats investigated the retail sweetener product, Granulated SPLENDA No Calorie Sweetener (Splenda) (Abou-Donia et al., 2008. Splenda alters gut microflora and increases intestinal P-glycoprotein and cytochrome P-450 in male rats. J. Toxicol. Environ. Health A, 71, 1415-1429), which is composed of (by dry weight) maltodextrin ( approximately 99%) and sucralose ( approximately 1%). The investigators reported that Splenda increased body weight, decreased beneficial intestinal bacteria, and increased the expression of certain cytochrome P450 (CYP450) enzymes and the transporter protein, P-glycoprotein (P-gp), the latter of which was considered evidence that Splenda or sucralose might interfere with the absorption of nutrients and drugs. The investigators indicated that the reported changes were attributable to the sucralose present in the product tested. An Expert Panel conducted a rigorous evaluation of this study. In arriving at its conclusions, the Expert Panel considered the design and conduct of the study, its outcomes and the outcomes reported in other data available publicly. The Expert Panel found that the study was deficient in several critical areas and that its results cannot be interpreted as evidence that either Splenda, or sucralose, produced adverse effects in male rats, including effects on gastrointestinal microflora, body weight, CYP450 and P-gp activity, and nutrient and drug absorption. The study conclusions are not consistent with published literature and not supported by the data presented.
PMID:
 
19567260
 
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Pasted from

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April 25, 2012
10:09 am
eddie watts
Guest

the above refutation does not specify how it does not show what they initially thought it did.
who paid for the more recent study and how did they compare the two?
oh look there was no new study to refute the previous one, they just decided it was wrong based on "The study conclusions are not consistent with published literature and not supported by the data presented."
which tells us precisely zero.
oh but look http://www.vivus.com/corporate-information/scientific-advisory-board/982-dr-xavier-pi-sunyer just one person i googled due to name, can anyone else see the conflict of interest?

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April 25, 2012
10:29 am
Elihu
Guest

eddie

I have access to only the abstract and don't know what the full review said. And I did note that I couldn't vouch for its veracity, and that the question of industry influence loomed. All that said, however, you seem to want to believe that Splenda is bad for us (and of course it may be) and therefore you reject the conclusions of this review without presenting any supporting evidence. Perhaps someone has access to the full review and can tell us what it says.

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April 25, 2012
10:58 am
Bill
Guest

Great article! Care to speculate about alanyl-glutamine? do you think this specific dipeptide would be problematic for those with gluten sensitivity?

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April 25, 2012
1:36 pm
Ivor Goodbody
Guest

Why on earth fret and worry like this when the obvious solution is to just say no to supplements and yes to real food?

Or, when you "don’t have access to real food or the time to cook it", to intermittent fasting?

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April 25, 2012
1:56 pm
Alex
Guest

Can anyone give me the name of a "clean" whey protein? I am looking to use it to help treat ulcerative colitis.

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April 25, 2012
2:14 pm
Halifax, UK
Gnoll
Forum Posts: 365
Member Since:
June 5, 2011
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Alex said:

Can anyone give me the name of a "clean" whey protein? I am looking to use it to help treat ulcerative colitis.

Whereabouts are you? I think this one is about as good as it gets:
http://www.myprotein.com/uk/products/essential-whey-60

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