Eating Whey Protein Before Meal Can Aid Glucose Control

shutterstock_144658325Researchers from universities in Israel and Sweden found out that taking whey protein before eating a regular breakfast can help reduce blood sugar spikes as well as improve insulin response of the body. The findings are published in Diabetologia, the journal of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes.

The study involved 15 people with type 2 diabetes not taking any other medication except sulfonylureas or metformin. The participants took 50 grams of whey in 250 ml of water or a placebo on two separate days. The participants then ate a standardized high-glycemic index breakfast consisting of 3 slices of white bread with jelly containing sugar. The breakfast was designed to produce the maximum glucose spike in the participants.

The researchers took blood samples from the participants 30 minutes before breakfast after which the whey protein or placebo was administered. Further blood samples were taken during the meal and at set intervals 7 more times within a period of 180 minutes. The participants were randomized to take either the whey protein or the placebo during their visit. The study was also designed so that participants took both whey protein and a placebo within two week in between visits.

The researchers found out that in the 180 minute-period after the meal, those who took whey protein before eating reduced their glucose levels by 28 percent. Responses to insulin and C-peptide, which is a building block of insulin, were significantly higher for those who consumed whey protein. In addition, early insulin response, which is 30 minutes after the meal, was 96 percent higher than in the placebo group. This is significant considering that loss of early insulin response is a major deficiency among diabetics and a main contributor to the rise in blood glucose after meals.

The authors concluded that taking whey protein before a high-glycemic index meal increased early and late post-meal insulin response and reduced post-meal blood sugar levels among the type 2 diabetic participants. Whey protein may present a new approach to help control blood sugar levels in diabetics.

Source: Diabetologia. (2014, July 7). Consuming whey protein before meals could help improve blood glucose control in people with diabetes. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 10, 2014 from


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