T Nation

Hemp Protein

Any opinion and facts out there about the pushing of hemp protein.Preferably from someone in the know about it seems a little pricey/fad kind of thing to me but trying to be open minded.There also seems to be a growing campaign against whey with hemp protein side arguing that its “A DEAD PROTEIN” due to heating in the manufacturing proccess. I am curious to here any thoughts based on fact and research if there realy is any.

I know nothing about hemp protien. However, I just want to add a caution. A couple years ago, hemp oil was on the market (maybe ity still is,) and people taking it were testing positive on drug tests. I would be concerened that hemp protien would do the same.

Someone asked about this kind of protein after getting a spam email about it.

A very good review was done by a very trustworthy source about all of the claims that were in the email. I tried putting what the email states in gray, and the review of the email in regular print (hope it works):


It is true that most people consuming a typical Western diet high in protein and grain foods/low in vegetables, fruits, and herbs have a low-level, chronic metabolic acidosis. When foods are broken down a variety of metabolites are produced. Some of these are strong acids: sulfuric and phosphoric acids from the breakdown of sulfur-containing amino acids and phosphoproteins. Although the body can buffer (neutralize) these acids there are physiological costs, which include calcium losses from bone, increased excretion of nitrogen (loss of muscle tissue), increased cortisol production. These losses become worse with age as a second line of defense - the ability of the kidneys to filter excess acids - is gradually reduced. Significant evidence suggests that these acidosis-related processes play a role in age-related degenerative diseases such as osteoporosis and sarcopenia.

It needs to be stressed, however, that the production of acids does not result in the blood becoming acidic…the blood remains slightly alkaline because physiological processes simply could not occur beyond a very narrow pH range - if your actual blood pH dropped below 7 - you would be dead. Period. What actually happens seems relatively inconsequential: blood pH goes from around pH 7.42 to around 7.35. The gradual damage is caused by the body’s ability to mobilize resources (such as bone and muscle glutamine) to maintain blood pH level within an acceptable range.

“Intestinal toxemia” covers one hell of a lot of medical ground. He surely doesn’t mean “endotoxemia” (a potentially fatal septicemia - “blood poisoning”), or “enterotoxemia” (a livestock disease not identified in humans). I’m assuming he means “intestinal dysbiosis” - which is a catch-all term for disruptions to the intestinal microflora: which is composed of a wide variety of bacterial species. This can be caused by a number of factors, such as antibiotic use and stress, but diet certainly plays a role. Once again, the traditional Western diet - high in protein and low in fiber, can cause problems. Incompletely digested protein and peptides pass into the large intestine, and are broken down by intestinal bacteria. Some bacteria are more efficient than others in this process, which allows them to grow faster than many of the others. These can produce gases and a variety of potentially toxic compounds which may play a role in the development of colon cancer, as well as other intestinal syndromes such as irritable bowel syndrome and inflammatory bowel disease.

Is this directly attributable to consumption of whey powder? No. It is a potential consequence of the over-consumption of protein in general. Whey protein powder is simply one source, and if you replaced it with protein from - say - steak…or eggs…or tofu even, the results would be no different. The problem lies not with whey, but with nitwits who believe that if something is good, then more must be better. As with anything else, protein consumption can be overdone!

This is nonsense. Just how many studies have been done looking at protein syntheis following consumption of whey? Geez - go back and look at the articles Will’s written on the subject for some references. Here’s just one example: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/...5716&query_hl=1. This would simply not be possible if the bulk of the protein was being “deposited in your intestinal tract.”

If anything, whey proteins are more efficiently digested than many others - go back and look at this quote from John Berardi: “To me, whey protein is the sugar of the protein family.” Bingo - what more needs to be said about the speed and efficiency of whey protein absorption?

[quote]4) Photographic evidence: “Let’s look at the top guys in the last 15 years. Let’s examine
the pictures.”[/quote]

Hang on - just who are these guys? There are no names or faces - only (bloated) midsections are shown. How do we know these are the “top guys”? There’s no reason he can’t name some names of the “top guys” that he thinks don’t have impressive physiques. He just grabbed some random shots of nobodies…more BS.

Uhhh…how about some proof here? Names? Some medical data would be nice - as explained above, protein simply doesn’t leave solid deposits in one’s intestines. It can perturb intestinal microflora and cause overgrowth of certain undesirable kinds, but will still, gradually be eliminated. Intestines aren’t passive pipes like the ones in your house where sludge builds up. Taken literally, the process he’s describing would eventually lead to total bowel obstruction…call Roto Rooter!!!

This is a no-brainer. Just how many posts do I have here on the forum, extoling the virtues of diets high in plant foods? Holy redundancy, Batman! I’ve often thought about using “Eat your vegetables, dammit” as my signature line…

No guru worth the money advocates swilling massive amounts of protein in the form of shakes. Go look at some of the articles by Berardi. Go look at what Poliquin’s written on the subject - I’m constantly quoting him about the need to consume whole foods, and not rely on shakes. Look at the food lists Will has in MBN, for crying out loud! All responsible guru-types are strong advocates of balanced diets that include plenty of plant foods.

Once again, I have to ask: is whey protein to blame because idiots OD on protein shakes? Try on a different protein source, and you’ll see what I mean. Do you doubt that you wouldn’t have some problems if you ate eggs exclusively for practically every meal? And would that mean that eggs are therefore bad? No - it would mean that you were being stupid for not balancing your diet with protein from a variety of different sources.

It has been well-established that metabolic acidosis can be corrected via administration of alkali salts such as potassium bicarbonate. And evidence also exists that it can be done via dietary manipulation: increasing the consumption of fruits and vegetables, and decreasing the consumption of grain foods. This is the foundation for “paleo” type diets. In other words, it isn’t necessary to consume a low-protein diet (or a diet based on plant proteins) to reduce/eliminate acidosis. But it is important to balance one’s diet. John Berardi has a good article on the subject here: http://www.johnberardi.com/articles/nutrition/bases.htm.

Uhhhh - one of the points of modern filtration techniques used for whey protein isolates/concentrates is that they preserve the native (undenatured) structure of the protein. So, when it comes to high-quality whey protein supps, denaturation is an irrelevant issue.

McNutt’s explanation of the process of protein denaturation is flawed, to say the least. All proteins have a three-dimensional, “folded” structure that is based on the chemical nature of the side chains of the individual amino acids in the sequence. Loosely put, some side chains are able to interact with water (hydrophilic) and others aren’t (hydrophobic). So, as each protein is being produced, the chain folds and contorts to isolate hydrophobic side chains in the protein interior - so each final 3-D structure is unique according to its amino acid sequence. The structure is reinforced by interactions by bonds that form between amino acid side chains that are brought into contact with each other by the folding. The majority of these bonds are individually weak, and known as “hydrogen bonds.” The function of a protein is inextricably linked to its structure: enzyme “active sites” for example can be thought of as “pockets” made up of different amino acids brought together by protein folding. Protein structure is affected by the degree of ionization of individual amino acid side chains - which is a function of pH.

When a food is heated (cooked), sufficient energy is introduced to overcome hydrogen bonds, which causes the protein to unfold or denature. Once the protein is denatured, it generally does not return to its former shape (although there are exceptions) due to changes in pH, interactions with other molecules, etc.

It’s important to understand that denaturation isn’t necessarily a bad thing: many food proteins become more digestible as the basic amino acid chain is more accessible to digestive enzymes. McNutt is correct when he states that denaturation destroys enzyme activity - although it’s another irrelevant point, as these enzyme activities generally don’t facilitate digestion or absorption of the protein anyway.

That being said, there can be undesirable consequences when protein sources are cooked. Cooking meat at high temperatures, for example, can create potentially carcinogenic compounds called nitrosamines. The nice golden color and complex flavor associated with toasted foods (like breakfast cereals) is caused by reactions between sugars and amino acids known as “Maillard browning,” which is detrimental to the digestibility and nutritive value of the affected proteins. But to make a blanket statement that “the nutrition is gone” when proteins are cooked is a vast oversimplification. Cooking/denaturation has both positive and negative effects, and depends on the condiitions.

I personally haven’t noticed this phenomenon. And we’ve already dealt with the issue of intestinal absorption of whey - so basically, we’re just piling on the stupidity here.

Holy Mother of God - this assclown knows even less about botany than he does about physiology or chemistry. Hemp - all hemp - male, female, acapulco gold, or whatever, is cannabis - specifically Cannabis sativa. It is true that male plants produce less THC than female plants, but it’s stupid beyond belief to think that today’s hemp growers are cultivating exclusively male plants - which is what McNutt-job is implying with this statement. THC production in hemp is quite variable, and can be increased, or decreased by selective breeding. The varieties currently being cultivated for food and fiber use are grown from selected varieties developed for low THC content.

What a friggin’ moron. Must be stoned…

Hemp protein could have a place in a mixed diet. The quality of the protein is a bit overhyped, however. While it is true that “…Hemp seed contains all 10 Essential Amino Acids, the building blocks of protein,” it is also true that some of these amino acids are present in limiting quantities (valine, tryptophan, isoleucine, and lysine). Like other vegetable proteins (i.e., soy, legume, nut/seed), I’d view it as an adjunct to - rather than a replacement for - higher quality animal proteins in a bodybuilding diet.

So the value of hemp protein - like other vegetable proteins - is limited in certain key aspects. That doesn’t mean that it’s useless - but not as high quality as animal proteins - like whey, for example.

Yes, hemp seed protein contains a good array of essential fatty acids. McNutt actually got that part reasonably correct.

I think my head is going to explode! Lots of proteins are “globular.” But that is not what makes them “globulins.” Protein nomenclature is traditionally based on solubility. Albumins, for example, are “globular” proteins that are soluble in pure water (many enzymes are, in fact, albumins). “Globulins” are soluble in dilute solutions containing ions (like salt solutions).

It is true that the primary protein in hemp seed is edistin, which is a globulin. Let me make sure I’ve got this straight now…in McNutt-ville, globulins and albumins are good right?

The primary proteins in whey are (drum roll please): beta-lactoglobulin and alpha-lactalbumin. Another whey protein is known as "bovine serum albumin. Oopsie! This guy’s not exactly a bastion of consistency, is he?

Once again, where’s the evidence? Let’s see some species, and plate counts.

Now, I don’t necessarily doubt that hemp protein might contain “friendly” bacteria…the issue is the amount. It takes a lot of “friendly” bacteria to survive digestion in sufficient numbers to effectively colonize the gut. Probiotic supplements contain billions of organisms per capsule. Unless the protein is specifically cultured, it’s highly unlikely that there are a sufficient number of “friendly” bacteria to matter.

And human beings are not ruminants (like cows), who need bacteria to help digest their food. The purpose of “friendly bacteria” is to compete for space with - or crowd out - harmful bacteria and to produce lactic acid (which is less favorable to the growth of harmful bacteria).

[quote]13) "Most bodybuilders are really, really deep on the acidic side. They’re eating a lot of acid-producing foods, and dead proteins. Theis contributes to this acid effect inside your body that builds layers of sludge inside your intestinal tract that stops the absorption of nutrients.

So, if you’re not experiencing, regular and consistent gains, you can almost be certain
your body’s PH level has become acidic. Hemp can dramatically alter your body’s PH level and help make you huge."[/quote]

In 1995, two researchers, Thomas Remer and Friedrich Manz, published a paper “Potential Renal Acid Load of Foods and its Influence on Urine pH.” What they did was to come up with a means to predict the effect individual foods would have on the body’s acid-base balance. They evaluated 118 different foods and assigned a “PRAL” (potential renal acid load) to each one: foods with a negative PRAL score produced alkaline metabolites, while those with a positive score produced acids.

Now, they didn’t include hemp protein in the list. But the list is comprehensive enough to view trends…simply put, any food with an appreciable amount of protein is a net acid producer. So sources of vegetable protein like peas, lentils, peanuts, and walnuts are acidic. Hemp protein powder runs 35 - 40% protein: higher than acid-producing legumes and nuts. It seems quite reasonable to assume - in the absence of any proof to the contrary - that it would also produce acidic metabolites.

But then again, McNutt seems to feel that being a “guru” means he doesn’t need to present data: evidently it’s true because he says so!

[quote]14) And what’s really important about hemp and there’s no other protein on the market that
gives you this, is the chlorophyll count. This helps your body get into that alkaline state that you desperately need, to get big beyond belief."[/quote]

Needless to state, there’s no proof here either that the alkaline-producing properties of fruits and vegetables is due to their chlorophyll content. Chlorophyll is a source of magnesium, which is one of the factors that contributes to a negative (alkaline) PRAL score, but that’s as far as it goes.

Hemp protein can be a good source of magnesium, although the availability may be affected to some extent by the large amount of fiber present.

Nonetheless, chlorophyll has some very healthful properties, and can be a valuable addition to your diet. See: http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/infocent...s/chlorophylls/ for more info.

Once again, there is exactly zero proof of that first sentence…

And after all this, we finally get to the point on page 17…McNutt’s selling the stuff. My - what a coincidence!!!

A supplement is - by definition - something that is added to the diet. As I have said before (and will keep saying), supps are adjuncts to - not replacements for - the elements of a healthy diet. Neither whey - nor hemp protein - powders should be used as the primary protein source in anyone’s diet. A variety of sources is best. And any diet - but a high protein one in particular - needs to be balanced by an adequate assortment of plant foods."

Are you trying to be the first Hippie bodybuildier or something?

[quote]carpenter480 wrote:
Any opinion and facts out there about the pushing of hemp protein.Preferably from someone in the know about it seems a little pricey/fad kind of thing to me but trying to be open minded.There also seems to be a growing campaign against whey with hemp protein side arguing that its “A DEAD PROTEIN” due to heating in the manufacturing proccess. I am curious to here any thoughts based on fact and research if there realy is any.[/quote]

Mike Mahler would be an excellent person to ask since he is a vegetarian. I do eat hemp bars. They are a good source of omega 3-6-9 fatty acids.

that hemp protein is good stuff I have an allergy too whey,milk,cheese and eggs so cant have the normal protein shakes but instead have hemp and pea protein shakes with rice milk excellent stuff gives you loads off energy and improves your general health.

Does that mean I can rip off Mr. Sissy college frat boy’s hemp necklace and eat the thing? Cool.

No but it means you can smoke a blunt and blame it on your healthy hemp oil products.