Undenatured Whey Protein is a way to increase the glutathione (GSH) in your body. Glutathione recycles antioxidants in our body, transports toxins out of your body and is a "first line of defense" antioxidant working hard to neutralize free radicals that we are exposed to from bacteria, viruses, aging, pollution and stress. Some doctors estimate around 50% of us are glutathione deficient.
Glutathione is so useful, it is used as n-acetyl cysteine (NAC) form in emergency rooms for tylenol overdoses. It works beause it sticks to toxins in the liver, moves it to the bile and then is excreted out in bowel movements.I choose not to use NAC however because it does not convert into glutathione very effectively and I think whey protein is the safest choice.
If whey is processed at or below 150 degrees (how undenatured whey protein is made), its fragile disulfide bond is intact and is resistant to digestive enzymes, and easily absorbed into the bloodstream. Cystine is important in boosting GSH in our bodies, and whey protein is made of a tripeptide protein with glycine, cysteine and glutamate. These are broken apart and re-organized in the body as GSH. Blood levels of GSH can be measured, and there have been studies done on GSH and COPD and exposure to ozone related to air pollution. The county I live in has the highest levels of ozone of any rural county in the US. The American Lung Association just gave our county a F rating for quality of air. This is a constant problem with so many parents worried that their child's asthma is related to bad air quaility and warnings every year for children not to exercise on "bad air days". I was at a seminar last year about our local air pollution and listened to a physician who specialized in asthma tell a room of 100 people there was nothing nutritional you can do to help counteract exposure to air pollution besides use inhalers. Wow.
Of particular interest with whey and influenza, GSH it is the principal antioxidant of deep lung cells, so can be of value to deep lung issues like asthma, COPD and respiratory viruses. In fact inhaled GSH is used as a treatment for cystic fibrosis, but from the research I have found, not as effective as undenatured whey protein. Influenza creates oxidative stress, and can cause pneumonia as a result. If drinking a protein drink will offer so many benefits with little to no side effects, count me in.