Diabetes: Whey Protein Before Meals May Improve Glucose Control

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Professor Daniela Jakubowicz MD Diabetes Unit. E. Wolfson Medical Center Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University and Tel Aviv Medical  Center, IsraelMedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Professor Daniela Jakubowicz MD
Diabetes Unit. E. Wolfson Medical Center
Sackler Faculty of Medicine,
Tel Aviv University
and Tel Aviv Medical  Center, Israel


Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study?

Prof. Jakubowicz: In type 2 diabetes there is a deficit of post-meal insulin secretion (from pancreatic beta-cells) that  contributes to an exaggerated elevation in blood glucose. In this study we  found that consumption of whey protein shortly before breakfast augmented  GLP-1 (a gut hormone that stimulates insulin secretion) enhancing insulin response and lowering glucose excursions after breakfast.


Medical Research: Were any of the findings unexpected?

Prof. Jakubowicz: We expected that Whey protein via bioactive peptides will increase GLP-1 and insulin secretion reducing  the  glucose elevation after  meal. However  we did not expect that  the  magnitude of post-meal blood glucose reduction following ingestion of whey protein will  be  comparable or even greater to the glucose lowering effect observed with  the classical anti-diabetic pharmaceutical interventions.Whey protein may, therefore, represent a novel approach for enhancing glucose-lowering strategies in type 2 diabetes.

Medical Research: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report? 

Prof. Jakubowicz: Addition  of  whey  protein  before  meals resulted in  substantial improvement in glucose control and β-cell function in subjects with type 2 diabetes. Whey protein therefore  may represent a valuable  adjuvant for treating type 2 diabetes. Addition of Whey protein could reduce the amount of antidiabetic drugs needed to maintain the balance in blood glucose and even delay the needs for insulin therapy.

Medical Research: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Prof. Jakubowicz: Based on the findings of this study, we are conducting  a long-term clinical trial  aimed to search in  type 2 diabetic  patients, whether the beneficial effects  of acute administration of Whey on blood sugar, insulin and GLP-1  are  long lasting or  persistent  over time. We  expect  that chronic administration of Whey protein will result in an improvement of HbA1c, and might  be a new  therapeutic approach for type 2 diabetic patients.

Citation:

Jakubowicz D, Froy O,  Ahén B,  Boaz M, Landau Z, Bar-Dayan Y, Tali Ganz T, Barnea M  and  Wainstein J

Incretin, insulinotropic and glucose-lowering effects of whey protein pre-load in type 2 diabetes: a randomised clinical trial. Diabetologia. 2014.

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