Whey protein Protein’s Effect on Insulin Resistance Bloodstream Glucose


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Effect of Protein on Blood Sugars

Video taken from the channel: The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

Multiple studies indicate that protein, specifically whey protein, can actually improve blood glucose levels in healthy, obese, and individuals with type 2 diabetes. Instead of blaming whey protein for insulin resistance, let’s focus on decreasing portion sizes and processed junk while increasing physical activity in the general population. A number of research experiments have been undertaken recently to identify the effect of whey on blood glucose and insulin response for people with Type 2 Diabetes.

Protein consumption is known to stimulate the production of glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1), a gut hormone that in turn stimulates insulin production. Subjects supplemented with whey protein had no significant change in body composition or serum glucose at 12 weeks compared with the control or casein group. Fasting TAG levels were significantly lowered in the whey group compared with the control group at.

Whey protein stimulated insulin releases and improved their glycemic levels by approximately 13% following each meal when compared with the placebo control. Insulin concentrations improved, showing strong positive correlations with increases in valine and isoleucine — essential branched-chain amino acids that contribute to diabetes control. Glucose, insulin and glucagon response to a high protein meal When we eat a high protein meal, both glucagon and insulin rise to maintain steady blood glucose levels while promoting the storage and use of protein to repair our muscles and organs and make neurotransmitters, etc. (i.e. important stuff!).

Whey can slow gastric emptying, stimulate insulin and gut hormones including the incretins, and thereby reduce postprandial blood glucose, especially when consumed some minutes before a meal. Whey may also suppress appetite and reduce food intake. Whey protein, when added to a meal, also appears to increase insulin secretion and to decrease blood sugar after a meal. (Post-prandial blood glucose) Whey protein can also decrease triglyceride levels in diabetics after meals.

In a recent study, blood sugar levels were 28% lower in those who had whey protein along with their meal. Whey protein not only functions as an appetite suppressant, it also decreases blood-glucose levels. A study in the “American Journal of Clinical Nutrition” concluded that long Research shows that while whey protein causes an increase in serum levels of leucine, isoleucine, and valine, it also causes an increase in the hormone glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP) and glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1). It is known that whey protein (WP) increases secretion of insulin and incretins acutely.

It is not known however, whether WP supplementation can achieve sustained glucose lowering in patients with type 2 diabetes (T2DM). What are the new findings?

List of related literature:

Protein also does not slow the absorption of carbohydrate, but because it can increase acute insulin responses without increasing glucose concentrations, it should not be used to treat acute hypoglycemia or to prevent overnight hypoglycemia (e.g., by adding protein to bedtime snacks).

“Medical Nutrition and Disease: A Case-Based Approach” by Lisa Hark, Darwin Deen, Gail Morrison
from Medical Nutrition and Disease: A Case-Based Approach
by Lisa Hark, Darwin Deen, Gail Morrison
Wiley, 2014

In cases of DM type1, the blood glucose level increases since the insulinstimulated storage of glucose as glycogen fails, since protein biosynthesis, which is initiated by insulin, does not occur and proteins are degraded instead, and since fat is metabolized and not—triggered by insulin—produced.

“Hormones and the Endocrine System: Textbook of Endocrinology” by Bernhard Kleine, Winfried G. Rossmanith
from Hormones and the Endocrine System: Textbook of Endocrinology
by Bernhard Kleine, Winfried G. Rossmanith
Springer International Publishing, 2016

The meal with more protein has a less-immediate impact on blood glucose; however, high protein still raises blood glucose and therefore insulin.

“Keto Living Day by Day: An Inspirational Guide to the Ketogenic Diet, with 130 Deceptively Simple Recipes” by Kristie Sullivan, Andreas Eenfeldt MD
from Keto Living Day by Day: An Inspirational Guide to the Ketogenic Diet, with 130 Deceptively Simple Recipes
by Kristie Sullivan, Andreas Eenfeldt MD
Victory Belt Publishing, 2018

Exercise increases the sensitivity of muscle cells to insulin, which is one reason it is encouraged in people with type 2 DM, particularly those with insulin resistance and hyperinsulinaemia, and it has a beneficial effect on cardiac risk factors (Chipkin, Klugh & Chasan-Taber 2001; Thomas, Elliott & Naughton 2007).

“Living with Chronic Illness and Disability EBook: Principles for Nursing Practice” by Esther Chang, Amanda Johnson
from Living with Chronic Illness and Disability EBook: Principles for Nursing Practice
by Esther Chang, Amanda Johnson
Elsevier Health Sciences, 2017

Therefore, a daily intake of whey may be beneficial in lowering plasma insulin levels in those with the MS.

“Nutrition in the Prevention and Treatment of Abdominal Obesity” by Ronald Ross Watson
from Nutrition in the Prevention and Treatment of Abdominal Obesity
by Ronald Ross Watson
Elsevier Science, 2014

Addition of whey to a meal containing rapidly digested and absorbed carbohydrates, stimulated greater plasma insulin concentrations (+57% after lunch) and reduced postprandial blood glucose (−21% over 180 min response) in subjects with type 2 diabetes (Frid et al., 2005).

“Dairy-Derived Ingredients: Food and Nutraceutical Uses” by M Corredig
from Dairy-Derived Ingredients: Food and Nutraceutical Uses
by M Corredig
Elsevier Science, 2009

Spiller GA, et al: Effect of protein dose on serum glucose and insulin response to sugars.

“Canine and Feline Endocrinology and Reproduction E-Book” by Edward C. Feldman, Richard W. Nelson
from Canine and Feline Endocrinology and Reproduction E-Book
by Edward C. Feldman, Richard W. Nelson
Elsevier Health Sciences, 2003

Because insulin and muscle contractions have an additive effect on glucose transportin muscle, the decrease in plasma insulin concentration, besides increasing lipolysis, also could be important for limiting muscle glucose uptake and thereby preventing hypoglycemia and delaying exhaustion of hepatic glycogen stores.

“Textbook of Work Physiology: Physiological Bases of Exercise” by Per-Olof Åstrand, Kaare Rodahl, Hans A. Dahl, Sigmund B. Strømme
from Textbook of Work Physiology: Physiological Bases of Exercise
by Per-Olof Åstrand, Kaare Rodahl, et. al.
Human Kinetics, 2003

Mikines et al., “Effects of training and detraining on dose-response relationship between glucose and insulin secretion,” American Journal of Physiology-Endocrinology and Metabolism 256, no.

“Peak: The New Science of Athletic Performance That is Revolutionizing Sports” by Marc Bubbs
from Peak: The New Science of Athletic Performance That is Revolutionizing Sports
by Marc Bubbs
Chelsea Green Publishing, 2019

In addition to hyperglycemia, the consequences of insulin resistance include decreased uptake of glucose in insulin-dependent tissues (fat and muscle); increased glycogen breakdown and endogenous glucose production (gluconeogenesis) from lactate, glycerol, and alanine; increased lipolysis; and protein breakdown.

“Metabolism of Human Diseases: Organ Physiology and Pathophysiology” by Eckhard Lammert, Martin Zeeb
from Metabolism of Human Diseases: Organ Physiology and Pathophysiology
by Eckhard Lammert, Martin Zeeb
Springer Vienna, 2014

Alexia Lewis RD

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified Heath Coach who believes life is better with science, humor, and beautiful, delicious, healthy food.

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  • I began a new weight lifting programme so I started taking organic whey, it knocked me out of Ketosis, it wasn’t a cheat day, I didn’t realise it would do this… it’s taking a while to get back

  • What’s high insulin? I purposely raise my insulin before trt shot which lowers my shbg lvls. Also I spike my insulin after workout for quick delivery to muscle. 1/4 cup of rice, shot of coffee, and cinnamon. These guys sound smart, but they give generalities that keep people very ignorant even harm people. Like “low carb” wtf is low carb? Do you know major competitive athletes eat up to 1000g of carbs in a day and they are ripped? Don’t be stupid! Look stuff up.

  • You should run this regularly to inform and/or remind others about insulin resistance, oxidation, and high protein diets. Thanks so much!!!!

  • Hi hope you ok? I’m 5.3 140lbs wanting to lose 15 lbs fatloss work out5 days 3 time weight 1hours and 2 day hits how best will I work out my Marcos thanks

  • This only works for Type 1 Diabetes and not for Type 2 Diabetes where there is insulin resistance. The cells dont respond to insulin.

  • Hi Dr. Berg, Thank you so much for all this info. At 140 lbs, I’m only 10 lbs away from my ideal weight. I’ve had digestive problems all my life and discovered digestive enzymes though a complimentary med dr., which help me very much. I’ve been on a vegetarian candida diet for the past 25 years but was diagnosed last month with insulin resistance. My cholesterol and blood pressure are climbing. I want to do the keto diet to improve my health, but I can’t digest fats, especially animal fat. Any hope for me?

  • I don’t think you know what you talking about..you should stop giving advise for people w chronic disease like diabetes..stick with body building and even in that field you fail cause drinking a shake after working out is bs cause we have a digestive sistem that has to prosses that shake before in goes in to the muscle so as long as you take tge right amount of proteins it dosent matter if is before or after the work out..cause the proteins my body is absorbing in today’s workout is the proteins i consume proly two days ago.

  • For some reason the edit link isn’t working for me so this is part of my question posted right before this one. And when you say ‘protein’, are you talking about some sort of animal meat? Like 3 to 6 oz of beef, chicken, or fish, etc? And again, is that 3 to 6 oz per day? per meal? or what? Thanks!

  • Its tricky shit with these hormones. Its not as simple as saying…… If u spike insulin ur not gonna burn fat cuz i guarantee u if all u did was sip on pepsi all day and consumed 500 cal below ur maintenance of that sugar shit u would still lose weight week after week DESPITE the fact ur r spiking insulin n blood sugar all day. U will lose weight cuz ur still in a deficit. Same goes for the opposite……. Say u ate avocados everyday for a week and hit 500 cals below maintenance u will still lose weight from week to week cuz ur in a defict. The 2 scenerios are drastically different in food and macro content. One is pure sugar carbs n the other is almost all fat with lil to no carb n fat. One diet has insulin spiked all day and the other hardly spikes it but anyone with common sense can see that although both foods illicit a diff hormonal response, weightloss will still occur. Even if u added a 3rd scenerio of a guy eating only tuna or skinless chicken breast which is like all protein basically. If he ate only that but hit 500 cals below maintenance everyday for a week or more he will lose weight despite that the protein only diet will also def raise insulin. Each diet raises insulin in very diff magnitudes and lengths of time but still weightloss will occur. We think we got the bod figured out with science n shit but we really dont but one thing we know is that U must eat less than ur body burns to lose.

  • 02:46 so what happens to all the glucose shuttling inside all kinds of cells over and over again and again;
    i suspect inflammation

  • I am doing 23 hrs fasting and taking isolate protein after workout and meal after 3 hour of workout is it ok??? Cuz i am doing heavy lifts.

  • Sir Mene to shod diya whay protien kyoki mera clostrol bed gya tha…sir ab start kru to konsa protien lu…or protien ke sath or kya use krna h

  • I’m already on low carb diet and I am on IF since last two weeks which has helped me reducing fat easily, only question I have is that instead of evening I have started strength workouts in the morning from today, should I take zero carb ISO whey protein right before my workout to avoid muscle loss and to what extent will this effect my IF since I am on fasting state until 2 pm. I weigh 72 kg regular build height 5’7″.

  • This extremely flawed study was performed on “postmenopausal women with obesity” So EVERYONE take it with a grain of salt. Also as others have pointed out the High Protein Group still consumed high levels of carbohydrates, whereas most high protein diets do not. There are more studies that show more lean mass means higher insulin sensitivity/lower resistance.