What Are Whey Protein Fractions?
What are whey protein fractions such as β-Lg, α-La, BSA, and Ig?
When thinking about a glass of milk and the protein within, only 20% of that protein is whey protein. Of that whey protein, there consists a specific quantity allocation of "protein fractions" with the highest levels and most popular fractions being –
- Beta-Lactoglobulin (β-Lg): Source of essential and branched-chain amino acids (the building blocks of lean muscle protein synthesis). When referring to AGN Roots Grass-Fed Whey Branched Chain Amino Acid concentration, a vast majority of the 6.53 grams live within this protein fraction.
- Alpha-Lactalbumin (α-La): Secondary in terms of abundance to β-Lg, Alpha-Lactalbumin is also a source of essential and branched-chain amino acids with benefits consisting of calcium transport assistance, sleep regulation, and being a well-known anti-carcinogen. Baby formula is often spiked with more Alpha-Lactalbumin as its profile is much closer to human milk than bovine.
- Bovine Serum Albumin (BSA): Commonly referred to as BSA, Bovine Serum Albumin is a primary protein found in blood serum and occurs in all body tissues and secretions. BSA is a large-sized protein with an excellent essential amino acid profile.
- Immunoglobulins (Ig): Primary protein found in colostrum. Pathogen binding inhibition (chelates iron), antimicrobial, activation of phagocytosis, anti-inflammatory response to allergens. Immunoglobulins paired with Lactoferrin make up mother's milk right after birth, which is a potent cocktail of the most nutrient-dense food in the world, providing an immense range of benefits.
AT AGN Roots, we rely on the common analytical chemistry technique of liquid chromatography to quantify each component in our grassfed whey (reconstituted from final product) per lot as part of our QA/QC standard.
Although the results vary between batch (lot#), the percentage ranges below show the breadth of results you can expect by total whey protein makeup -
- Beta-Lactoglobulin: 54-58%
- Alpha-Lactalbumin: 14-17%
- Immunoglobulins: 8-10%
- Bovine Serum Albumin: 3-5%
- Glycomacropeptide: .1-2%
Note: Minor fractions, including the famous "lactoferrin," make up to a total of 1.7% of the total whey protein by volume. Slight variances exist between each lot# depending on several factors, including error tolerances associated with the HPLC technique.