Protein supplements may help control diabetes
A new study has found that consuming whey protein before meals may help control type 2 diabetes.
A study by Newcastle University has found that drinking a small amount of whey protein before meals can help people with type 2 diabetes control their blood sugars.
In the study, people with type 2 diabetes drank a pre-made shot before meals which contained a low dose of whey protein. They were monitored for a week as they went about normal daily life. To compare the potential benefits of whey protein, the same participants also spent a week drinking a control shot that contained no protein in order to measure the results against each other.
Results from continuous glucose monitoring revealed that glucose levels were much better controlled when taking the whey supplement before meals.
“While previous studies for a few hours in the lab have shown the potential for this dietary intervention, this is the first time that people have been monitored as they go about normal life,” said Dr Daniel West, Senior Lecturer and Principal Investigator working within the Human Nutrition Research Centre and Diabetes Research Group at Newcastle University, UK.
“We believe the whey protein works in two ways, firstly, by slowing down how quickly food passes through the digestive system and secondly, by stimulating a number of important hormones that prevent the blood sugars climbing so high.”
Newcastle University PhD student, Kieran Smith, who oversaw the glucose monitoring and analysed the data added that “people were able to stick to the regime and liked the idea of having a convenient, tasty, small pre-made drink that could be carried with them and taken before meals.”
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The team intend to further explore the benefits of non-medical interventions by running the study on a larger scale and for a longer period of time. They also plan to look at alternative proteins, such as those that come from plant sources like peas, fungi and potatoes to open up options for vegan and other dietary needs.
“As we see growing numbers of people around the world developing diabetes, investigating the potential of alternatives to drugs such as food supplements becomes more important,” concluded Dr West.