Acute studies show that addition of whey protein at breakfast has a glucose-lowering effect through increased incretin and insulin secretion. However, whether this is a long-term effect in Type 2 diabetes is unknown. Fifty-six Type 2 diabetes participants aged 58.9±4.5 years, BMI 32.1±0.9 kg/m2 and HbA1C 7.8±0.1% (61.6±0.79 mmol/mol) were randomized to one of 3 isocaloric diets with similar lunch and dinner, but different breakfast: 1) 42 g total protein, 28 g whey (WBdiet, n=19); 2) 42 g various protein sources (PBdiet, n=19); or 3) high-carbohydrate breakfast, 17 g protein from various sources (CBdiet, n=18). Body weight and HbA1C were examined after 12 weeks. All participants underwent three all-day meal challenges for postprandial glycemia, insulin, C-peptide, intact glucagon-like peptide 1 (iGLP-1), ghrelin and hunger and satiety scores. Overall postprandial AUCglucose was reduced by 12% in PBdiet and by 19% in WBdiet, compared with CBdiet (P<.0001). Compared with PBdiet and CBdiet, WBdiet led to a greater postprandial overall AUC for insulin, C-peptide, iGLP-1 and satiety scores, while postprandial overall AUC for ghrelin and hunger scores were reduced (P<.0001). After 12 weeks, HbA1C was reduced after WBdiet by 0.89±0.05% (11.5±0.6 mmol/mol), after PBdiet by 0.6±0.04% (7.1±0.31 mmol/mol) and after CBdiet by 0.36±0.04% (2.9±0.31 mmol/mol) (P<.0001). Furthermore, the participants on WBdiet lost 7.6±0.3 kg, PBdiet 6.1±0.3 kg and CBdiet 3.5±0.3 kg (P<.0001). Whey protein-based breakfast is an important adjuvant in the management of Type 2 diabetes.
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