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Whey Protein May Help Diabetics Control Glucose Levels

Erratic glucose levels can endanger the health of type-2 diabetics. A recent study has found that drinking whey protein may help people with type 2 diabetes control their glucose levels.

Participants in the study included 15 individuals with type-2 diabetes who took either 50 grams of whey in 250 ml of water or just 250 ml of water on two different days. After consuming the whey or placebo, all of the participants ate a high-glycemic index breakfast of three slices of white bread and sugary jelly in order to induce a post-meal glucose spike.

The researchers took blood samples 30 minutes before the high glucose index meal as well as at the 15, 30, 60, 90, 120, 150, and 180 minute intervals afterward.

The researchers found that glucose levels were reduced by 28% during the 180- minute post-meal period in the whey group. Additionally, insulin was 105% higher and C-peptide responses were 43% higher in the control group when compared with the whey group. Finally, early insulin response was 96% higher after whey supplementation.

Researchers from Lund University, Tel Aviv University, and University of Jerusalem conducted the study. It was published in the September 2014 issue of Diabetologia.

Whey protein is one of the two proteins found in milk, but is only approximately 1% of the composition of milk. It is obtained as a byproduct of cheese making and can be purchased in powder form from health food stores. Additionally, it can be found in ricotta cheese, which is one of the only cheeses that do not have the whey removed, and also in yogurt.

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