(HealthDay News) — For patients with well-controlled type 2 diabetes, consumption of whey protein pre-load before a high-glycemic index breakfast correlates with a reduction in glucose levels, higher insulin responses, and higher glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) levels, according to a study published online in Diabetologia.

Daniela Jakubowicz, MD, from Tel Aviv University in Israel, and colleagues examined whether enhancing GLP-1 secretion with whey protein pre-load would be beneficial in type 2 diabetes.

Fifteen individuals with well-controlled type 2 diabetes, who were not taking medications except sulfonylurea or metformin, were randomly assigned to receive 50 g whey in 250 mL water or placebo followed by a standardized high-glycemic index breakfast.

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Following meal ingestion, the researchers assessed plasma concentration of glucose, intact GLP-1 and insulin concentrations.

The researchers found that glucose levels were reduced by 28% after whey pre-load over the 180-minute post-meal period, with a uniform reduction during early and late phases. With whey pre-load, insulin and C-peptide responses were significantly higher (105% and 43%, respectively), with a 96% increase in early insulin response.

Whey pre-load correlated with significantly higher total and intact GLP-1 levels (141% and 298%, respectively).

There was no significant between-group difference observed in dipeptidyl peptidase 4 plasma activity after breakfast.

“Whey protein may therefore represent a novel approach for enhancing glucose-lowering strategies in type 2 diabetes,” the researchers wrote.


  1. Jakubowicz D et al. Diabetologia. 2014;doi:10.1007/s00125-014-3305-x.