Yes, it comes from dairy, and yes, dairy has been relegated to the “maybe” category, but that doesn’t mean we should write off whey protein right away. If you can’t tolerate dairy, then obviously you should not include whey protein in your Paleo lifestyle. On the other hand, if whey protein does not cause any problems for you, then there are a number of reasons to include it in your diet.
The Health Benefits
In addition to being an excellent source of protein with an array of amino acids, whey protein has been shown to reduce blood sugar levels after a meal, reduce fatty liver, improve cognitive function under stress, help fight cancer, HIV, heart disease, and improve gut health. Despite dairy’s connection to increased leaky gut in certain individuals, supplementing with whey protein has been shown to actually reduce leaky gut and inflammation, all of which are good things.
Mark Sisson gave a pretty comprehensive defense of whey protein.