08 Jul Diabetes: Whey Protein Before Meals May Improve Glucose Control
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.
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.