Study Finds Protein Supplement Helps Control Type 2 Diabetes

According to a recent study, drinking a small amount of whey protein before meals helps people with type 2 diabetes in controlling their blood sugar.

Tanya Srivastava
Written by: Tanya SrivastavaUpdated at: Sep 27, 2022 18:59 IST
Study Finds Protein Supplement Helps Control Type 2 Diabetes

Around 422 million people worldwide suffer from diabetes, and 1.5 million deaths are directly attributed to diabetes every year. According to a recent study, drinking a small amount of whey protein before meals helps people with type 2 diabetes in controlling their blood sugar levels. 

In a study, people with type 2 diabetes drank a pre-made shot before meals which contained a low dose of whey protein. These participants were monitored for a week as they went about their normal everyday life. For comparison, the same participants also spent a week drinking a control shot that contained no protein to measure the results against each other.

Results from continuous glucose monitoring found that glucose levels were much better and controlled when taking the whey supplement prior to meals. On an average, they had two hours extra per day of normal blood sugar levels compared to the no protein week. In addition, their daily blood glucose levels were 0.6 mmol/L lower compared to when they consumed the supplement without any protein. 

"While previous studies for a few hours in the laboratory have shown the potential for this dietary intervention, this is the first time that people have been monitored as they go about their normal lives," said Dr Daniel West, Senior Lecturer and Principal Investigator working within the Human Nutrition Research Centre and Diabetes Research Group at Newcastle University, UK.

Protein Supplement Helps Control Type 2 Diabetes

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"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. As we see growing numbers of people worldwide developing diabetes, investigating the potential of alternatives to drugs such as food supplements becomes a more important deal," he added.

Newcastle University PhD student, Kieran Smith, who oversaw the glucose monitoring and analysed the data said, "People were able to stick to the regime and liked the idea of having a convenient, yet tasty, and small pre-made drink that could be carried with them and taken prior to meals."

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