Whey protein before meals could prevent blood sugar spikes in type 2 diabetics

For diabetics, eating a large meal can raise blood sugar levels above what's considered a healthy range.

Dietary changes and insulin therapy can help combat high blood sugar, but a new study found that eating whey protein before breakfast could also help stimulate insulin secretion, which would assist in lowering glucose levels.

A study published in the journal Diabetologia included 15 people people with well-controlled type 2 diabetes who were not taking any medications except for oral diabetes drugs like metformin. The participants' blood sugar levels were tested 180 minutes after meals to determine how consuming whey affected blood sugar levels.

Comparable to drugs?

Study author Professor Daniela Jakubowicz, MD, said that while she expected whey protein to increase insulin secretion after meals, she didn't expect the dramatic changes that were witnessed in the study.

Glucose levels in participants who ate whey before meals were reduced by 28 percent compared with the levels measured in people who didn't eat whey prior to meals.

The insulin response within the first 30 minutes following meals, too, was 96 percent higher after eating whey protein than without it.

"In summary, consumption of whey protein shortly before a high-glycaemic-index breakfast increased the early and late post-meal insulin secretion, improved GLP-1 responses and reduced post-meal blood sugar levels in type-2 diabetic patients," the authors wrote.

Jakubowicz even went so far as to say the effects seen from whey protein were comparable to anti-diabetic pharmaceutical interventions.

"Whey protein may, therefore, represent a novel approach for enhancing glucose-lowering strategies in type 2 diabetes," Jakubowicz told Medical Research.

Source: Medical Research, The Health Site

Image credit: Apolonia/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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