Hi. I have just passed my kidney transplant's 2 year anniversary. I had two rejections at first, which I was fortunate to overcome. I lost my kidneys from systemic lupus, a severe autoimmune condition, and it took 8 years on dialysis to the point I could hardly function before I finally got my cadaver kidney.
After my transplant, at first, I had a hard time gaining weight, and I had GI issues from the meds. Adding protein smoothies to my diet was a good solution for me and helped with both problems. I cannot tolerate whey products/protein powder, and soy is just plain bad for you, so I chose brown rice protein powder back then for my smoothies. I also have to eat gluten-free, so I was used to using brown rice alternatives.
I recently ran out of the brown rice protein, and decided to use HEMP protein powder. I chose one high in protein, as opposed to some which have a lot of fiber content and not so much of the protein. I have used it a few times so far.
Then, today, someone posted on FaceBook about how wonderful HEMP protein is for the immunity - how the high levels of certain proteins and amino acids increase T-Cell/White cell production and antibodies, bolstering the immune system. I immediately became alarmed, knowing that is the LAST thing a transplant and/or Lupus patient needs in their diet. I had not been able to find anything to do with transplants and HEMP online, so I figured it was alright to use when I bought it. I checked for medication interactions, all of that.
I also found out from reading the article below, that HEMP protein is really high in the amino acid arginine (also found in high levels in things such as nuts or chocolate), which can cause outbreaks of herpes or shingles, etc. I try to avoid this amino acid since I get frequent shingles outbreaks due to my transplant meds allowing the virus to break out. Shingles is just another form of herpes virus. There is also the one that causes cold sores, and the type that causes genital herpes. Any stress or high arginine diet can trigger it for me, and it's awful, with the way it comes on, miserably bad headache for days, GI symptoms, dizzines, feeling really ill, etc. The blisters are also quite painful and can keep me up at night, even if I only have one.
Anyway, just wanted to warn you all of that. I don't feel that doctors are always up on these things and there really isn't a lot of warning out there for us, either. There have not been any official studies into the effects on people with transplant or autoimmunity, they are just going on what is known about these proteins and amino acids and their effect on the body.
Here is the link to the full article so you can read the details, and maybe share it with your doctor or others who may have transplants or autoimmune issues. I think that elderly people should be warned about the high arginine foods, too, as they seem to be more vulnerable to shingles - along with people like AIDS patients, etc.
Hempseed protein is comprised of up to 65 percent globulin edistin, which is required by the human body for making serum globulin, albumin and immune system chemicals such as antibodies and gamma globulin. While this nutrition is beneficial for the majority of the population, victims of autoimmune conditions may find hempseed products are too stimulating on the immune system. There has been no research yet on hempseed products and autoimmune conditions, however it is known that the combination of essential fatty acids and amino acids in hempseed increases white blood cells in animals and humans. Readers suffering from autoimmune conditions or who are taking immuno-supressive drugs should use hempseed protein with caution.