Background: Large doses of whey protein consumed as a preload before single high-glycemic load meals has been shown to improve postprandial glycemia in type 2 diabetes. It is unclear if this effect remains with smaller doses of whey co-ingested at consecutive mixed-macronutrient meals. Moreover, whether hydrolyzed whey offers further benefit under these conditions is unclear.
Objective: The aim of this study was to investigate postprandial glycemic and appetite responses after small doses of intact and hydrolyzed whey protein co-ingested with mixed-nutrient breakfast and lunch meals in men with type 2 diabetes.
Design: In a randomized, single-blind crossover design, 11 men with type 2 diabetes [mean ± SD age: 54.9 ± 2.3 y; glycated hemoglobin: 6.8% ± 0.3% (51.3 ± 3.4 mmol/mol)] attended the laboratory on 3 mornings and consumed 1) intact whey protein (15 g), 2) hydrolyzed whey protein (15 g), or 3) placebo (control) immediately before mixed-macronutrient breakfast and lunch meals, separated by 3 h. Blood samples were collected periodically and were processed for insulin, intact glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1), gastric inhibitory polypeptide (GIP), leptin, peptide tyrosine tyrosine (PYY3-36), and amino acid concentrations. Interstitial glucose was measured during and for 24 h after each trial. Subjective appetite was assessed with the use of visual analog scales.
Results: Total postprandial glycemia area under the curve was reduced by 13% ± 3% after breakfast following the intact whey protein when compared with control (P < 0.05). Hydrolyzed whey attenuated early glucose after breakfast when compared with control (P < 0.05). Glycemia was improved postlunch after the intact whey protein only when compared with control (P < 0.05). Greater satiety was observed after the intact whey protein only after both meals when compared with control (P < 0.05). Insulin concentrations increased after both the intact and hydrolyzed whey protein, showing strong positive correlations with increases in valine and isoleucine (P < 0.05). Incretin and appetite regulatory hormone responses were similar across trials (P > 0.05).
Conclusions: The consumption of a small 15-g dose of intact whey protein immediately before consecutive mixed-macronutrient meals improves postprandial glycemia, stimulates insulin release, and increases satiety in men with type 2 diabetes. This trial was registered at www.clinicialtrials.gov as NCT02903199.