This article weighs (wheys) in on the way (whey) to reduce psoriasis with, you probably guessed by now, whey protein. I can’t wait (wheyt) to share this with you. That’s it – I have now finished with the homonym humour, I promise.
XP-828L Bioactive Whey Protein is a dietary supplement made of a protein extract derived from bovine (cow) sweet whey that has been shown to be beneficial in psoriasis (Poulin Y et al 2005), (Poulin Y et al 2006). It has been commercialised and patented as the product Dermylex.
Complex whey protein has previously shown potential in the treatment of cancer, hepatitis B, HIV virus, cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis (Marshall 2004).
Results of treating psoriasis with bovine whey powder
A study was conducted on 11 adult patients with chronic, stable plaque psoriasis on two percent or more of total body surface area. Study participants received 5 g twice daily of XP-828L for 56 days.
PASI scores were used to measure psoriasis area severity index during treatment. The majority of patients improved their psoriasis from day 1 of treatment with XP-828L, through to day 56 when they discontinued 5 g twice daily of XP-828L. PASI improvements continued through to day 112 even after daily dosage stopped on day 56. PASI was improved as much as 25% in 8 patients at day 56 and in 11 patients at day 112. This indicated that the patients could benefit from further improvement with longer use of XP-828L.
What is bioactive bovine whey powder?
Whey protein is the protein contained in whey, the watery portion of milk that separates from the curds when making cheese.
Whey protein is commonly used to reverse weight loss in people with HIV and to help prevent allergic conditions in infants. Whey protein is also considered to have effects on the immune system.
Bioactivity of bovine whey
Cows’ milk provides a wide range of biologically active compounds that protect the human body against diseases and pathogens. These biologically active compounds include immunoglobulins, antimicrobial proteins and peptides, oligosaccharides, lipids, as well as many other components in low concentrations.
Bioactive peptides are specific protein fragments that have a positive impact on body functions or conditions and may improve our health by exerting a physiological action.
Milk proteins, especially caseins, are an important source of these bioactive peptides. The whey protein components, α-lactalbumin and β-lactoglobulin, were also shown to contain bioactive functions.
How does bovine whey powder improve psoriasis?
The bioactive profile of XP-828L is likely due to the presence of growth factors, immunoglobulins, and active peptides found in this specific whey extract. An in vitro study (testing in glass dishes and not on bodies) demonstrated XP-828L has immune-regulating effects, including inhibiting the production of certain cytokines (the proteins that seems to send the wrong message to our T-cells in psoriasis), which may make it effective in treating T-cell related disorders, such as psoriasis by regulating our immune response.
Can I use an alternative bovine whey powder just as effectively?
My disclaimer is that we are all operating under different circumstances and results may differ because of them. Personally, my psoriasis has benefited from taking whey protein extracts. XP-828L, the product of this research, is a whey protein extract, and should not be confused with whey protein isolates, that contain only isolated proteins without including the full range of nutrients found in whey. I had been careful to select a bovine whey protein extract sourced from the milk of happy organic grass-fed cows. I needed to sift through some heavily marketed and questionable products to find this. I have since made my own whey from good quality, curdled cows’ milk. Whey is the milk’s watery component, which remains after the milk has curdled.
Are there any known side effects of taking bovine whey powder?
- High doses can cause some side effects such as increased bowel movements, nausea, thirst, bloating, cramps, reduced appetite, tiredness (fatigue), and headache.
- There is not enough reliable information about the safety of taking whey protein if you are pregnant or breast feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.
- If you are allergic to cow’s milk, avoid using whey protein.
- Do not take whey protein and levodopa at the same time.
- Whey protein can decrease how much alendronate (Fosamax) the body absorbs.
- Taking whey protein along with some antibiotics might decrease the effectiveness of some antibiotics.
There we no significant changes in the renal (kidney), hepatic (liver) and haematology (blood) parameters during the 112 day study of 42 people with psoriasis. This indicated to the researchers that the whey product was safe to use.
It is refreshing to see this type of success with a naturally derived food product. Even more delightful is the absence of harmful side effects that are almost always associated with pharmaceutical treatments of psoriasis. Bovine whey may unwittingly be in your diet as the creamy coloured liquid in your yoghurt tub, or the liquid you see when milk curdles. I shudder to think of all the times I had wheysted this liquid gold into the sink.
Wheyving goodbye till next time
Poulin Y, Pouliot Y, Lamiot E, et al. 2005. Safety and efficacy of a milk-derived extract in the treatment of plaque psoriasis: an open-label study. J Cutan Med Surg: 9:271-275.
Poulin Y, Bissonnette R, Juneau C, et al. 2006. XP-828L in the treatment of mild to moderate psoriasis: randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. J Cutan Med Surg: 10: 241-248.
Marshall, K. 2004. Therapeutic applications of whey protein. Altern. Med. Rev. 9: 136-156. PMID: 15253675