The whey to go? Morning protein drink may help T2 diabetes

"Whey protein could represent a novel approach for enhancing glucose-lowering strategies in type 2 diabetes," say researchers.

Whey protein drinks may help people with type 2 diabetes control erratic glucose levels, according to research.

The study, published in the journal Diabetologia, saw 15 individuals with well-controlled type 2 diabetes taking either 50 grams of whey in 250 ml of water or a placebo of just 250 ml of water on two separate days. This was followed by a high-glycemic index breakfast of three slices of white bread and sugary jelly – designed to create a post-meal glucose spike.

“The results showed that over the whole 180 min post-meal period, glucose levels were reduced by 28%, after whey pre-load with a uniform reduction driving both early and late phases,” the Lund University, Tel Aviv University and University of Jerusalem researchers wrote.  

They said insulin and C-peptide responses were significantly higher than the control group at 105% and 43%, respectively. Meanwhile early insulin response was 96% higher after whey.

Professor Jakubowicz, one of the study’s authors, said: "The early insulin response that usually is deficient in type-2 diabetes was significantly higher after whey protein than with placebo, and the whey protein preload significantly reduced the elevation of blood glucose after breakfast.”

Adding: "Whey protein could therefore represent a novel approach for enhancing glucose-lowering strategies in type 2 diabetes."

Breakfast in hospital

Across the two groups, decided with the flick of a coin, blood samples assessing plasma concentration of glucose, intact GLP-1 (glucagon-like peptide), and insulin concentrations were taken. This was done 30 minutes before the high GI breakfast as the whey protein or placebo drinks were consumed as well as when the meal was served and then at 15, 30, 60, 90, 120, 150 and 180 minute intervals following breakfast.

The only medication the diabetic participants were taking was sulfonylurea and metformin.

Professor Jakubowicz said: “What's remarkable is that consuming whey protein before meals reduces the blood sugar spikes seen after meals. It also improves the body's insulin response, putting it in the same range or even higher than that produced by novel anti-diabetic drugs."

"High milk intake has long been associated with lower risk for type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, and milk whey protein increases the production of a gut hormone called glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) that stimulates insulin secretion. This, in turn, reduces the blood glucose rise after meals."

The Israeli Ministry of Health and the Milk Council funded this first research round. The researchers said they were now considering a more long-term clinical trial on whey protein consumption for diabetics.

Source: Diabetologia

Vol. 57, Iss. 9, pp. 1807–1811, doi:10.1007/s00125-014-3305-x

“Incretin, insulinotropic and glucose-lowering effects of whey protein pre-load in type 2 diabetes: a randomised clinical trial”

Authors: D. Jakubowicz, O. Froy, B. Ahrén, M. Boaz, Z. Landau, Y. Bar-Dayan,  T. Ganz, M. Barnea, J. Wainstein

Related News

Arla will triple whey hydrolysates output by 2016

Arla pours €38m into facility to meet whey demand

Somebody balance this child's protein..."It can take four or five years before a decision is made, but we hope it will be sooner than this.”

Nestlé files patent for kids’ ‘protein balance’

Consuming high-fat dairy slashes type 2 diabetes risk: Study

Consuming high-fat dairy slashes type 2 diabetes risk: Study

Protein drink is 'upbeat' after award

Protein drink is 'upbeat' after award

A low calorie whey protein and fibre drink before breakfast reduced peak glucose levels in finger-prick blood tests by 2.1 mmol/L at 45 minutes

Low calorie whey-guar mix may help reduce blood sugar: Study

Milk peptides to help lower high blood pressure

Whey protein holds fat fighting potential, suggests study

Open sesame: “...the lowering plasma cholesterol and glycaemic levels might be related to the amounts of sesamin complex from sesame seeds."

Sesame seeds can aid pre-diabetic blood glucose levels: Study

Whey protein may cut metabolic risk of high-fat diet: Mouse study

Researchers on Salacia reticulata: "...may be beneficial for maintaining lipids and glucose normal levels..."

Ayurvedic salacia herb shows pre-diabetes benefit: Study

If current trends continue, says the American Diabetes Association, one in three American adults will have diabetes by 2050

'Cobiotic' delivers dramatic decrease in fasting blood glucose and 'virtually eliminates' diarrhea caused by Metformin in type 2 diabetic: Case study

Increased fibre may prevent obesity by controlling intestinal glucose: Study

Increased fibre may prevent obesity by controlling intestinal glucose: Study

Related Products

See more related products

Submit a comment

Your comment has been saved

Post a comment

Please note that any information that you supply is protected by our Privacy and Cookie Policy. Access to all documents and request for further information are available to all users at no costs, In order to provide you with this free service, William Reed Business Media SAS does share your information with companies that have content on this site. When you access a document or request further information from this site, your information maybe shared with the owners of that document or information.