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July 9, 2005

The Healthy Effect of Whey On Glucose, Insulin

Topics: Health Issues

An interesting study in this month's American Journal of Clinical Nutrition offers some sound reasons why meals supplemented with whey protein - often referred to as the 'gold standard' of protein since it's the most nutritious protein available - can be healthy for you, even if the foods you typically eat aren't.

Whey proteins have insulinotropic effects and reduce the postprandial glycemia in healthy subjects. The exact mechanism isn't known, but insulinogenic amino acids and the incretin hormones seem to be involved. The objective of the study was to evaluate whether supplementation of meals having a high glycemic index (GI) with whey proteins could increase insulin secretion and improve blood glucose control in type 2 diabetic subjects.

Researchers compared the effect of whey versus lean ham and lactose on 14 type 2 diabetes patients after they ate high glycemic index (GI) breakfasts and lunches on separate days. Not surprisingly, insulin responses were higher in the diabetic patients after eating breakfast (31 percent) and lunch (57 percent) supplemented with whey. Also, the blood glucose response of patients who ate whey fell by more than 20 percent.

The patient's response to whey is encouraging, considering some experts believe that reducing the presence of glucose in the blood after a meal is a more expedient approach to treating diabetes than lowering fasting blood glucose. Moreover, the way whey affects the activity of insulin in the body led scientists to conclude these proteins may potentially lessen post-meal blood glucose spikes over the day.

Although the results of this study suggest a benefit for accompanying meals with whey protein, I offer caution about buying just any 'weightlifter' whey protein powder on the market. I highly recommend one and only one whey protein powder, and although it's much more expensive than run-of-the-mill whey powders you usually find in health food stores, the quality and results are worth the extra expense.

My recommendation? Solgar's "Whey to Go Protein Powder.

Posted by Hyscience at July 9, 2005 6:42 PM

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