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Diabetologia

, Volume 57, Issue 12, pp 2603–2604 | Cite as

Protein ‘pre-loads’ in type 2 diabetes: what do we know and what do we need to find out?

  • Christopher K. RaynerEmail author
  • Jing Ma
  • Karen L. Jones
  • Peter M. Clifton
  • Michael Horowitz
Letter
  • 901 Downloads

Keywords

Gastric emptying Glucagon-like peptide-1 Incretins Insulin Nutrition Postprandial glycaemia Whey 

Abbreviations

CCK

Cholecystokinin

GLP-1

Glucagon-like peptide-1

To the Editor: We read with interest the Short Communication from Jakubowicz et al, published recently in Diabetologia [1]. The authors reported that acute administration of 50 g whey protein, in liquid form, 30 min before a high carbohydrate breakfast, substantially reduced postprandial glycaemia as compared with placebo in patients with type 2 diabetes, and there were concomitant increases in both glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) and insulin.

These outcomes are consistent with our study, published in 2009, involving a 55 g whey pre-load in type 2 diabetic patients, which adopted a very similar study design [2], and was cited by Jakubowicz and Froy in a previous review [3], but to our surprise, not in their paper [1]. Moreover, we showed that the whey pre-load also slowed the emptying of the subsequent meal from the stomach, and stimulated glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP) and cholecystokinin (CCK), in addition to GLP-1 and insulin. It is now appreciated that slowing gastric emptying represents an important mechanism by which dietary or pharmacological strategies can attenuate postprandial glycaemia [4]; this includes the ‘short-acting’ GLP-1 receptor agonists [5]. Stimulation of both GLP-1 and CCK are likely to contribute to the slowing of gastric emptying induced by whey protein.

While the impressive effects of such a ‘pre-load’ strategy in the acute setting are now clear, it is important to refine this approach for practical long-term use. Whey protein is relatively expensive, and the cost of such a large dose taken on a regular basis would be prohibitive for many patients. Whey supplements would also incur a substantial burden in energy consumption, unless it were shown that patients compensate by adjusting their overall energy intake. Whey also has the capacity to increase glucagon [6], which would be counterproductive to glycaemic control. Accordingly, future studies should examine how the dose of whey could be minimised (for example, by combining a pre-load with an inhibitor of dipeptidyl peptidase 4 [7]) and whether the effects of whey on glycaemia are sustained with long-term use. It would also be important to refine which type 2 diabetic patients should be selected for this therapeutic strategy; probably those with a relatively low HbA1c (~7.5% [58 mmol/mol] or less) would be ideal, given that this is the group in whom postprandial glycaemia, as opposed to preprandial blood glucose, makes the predominant contribution to overall glycaemic control [8].

Notes

Funding

The authors’ work in this field has been funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia.

Duality of interest

The authors declare that there is no duality of interest associated with this manuscript.

Contribution statement

All authors were responsible for the conception and design of the manuscript, drafting the article and revising it critically for important intellectual content. All authors approved the version to be published.

References

  1. 1.
    Jakubowicz D, Froy O, Ahrén B et al (2014) Incretin, insulinotropic and glucose-lowering effects of whey protein pre-load in type 2 diabetes: a randomised clinical trial. Diabetologia 57:1807–1811PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Ma J, Stevens JE, Cukier K et al (2009) Effects of a protein preload on gastric emptying, glycemia, and gut hormones after a carbohydrate meal in diet-controlled type 2 diabetes. Diabetes Care 32:1600–1602PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Jakubowicz D, Froy O (2013) Biochemical and metabolic mechanisms by which dietary whey protein may combat obesity and type 2 diabetes. J Nutr Biochem 24:1–5PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    Marathe CS, Rayner CK, Jones KL, Horowitz M (2013) Relationships between gastric emptying, postprandial glycemia, and incretin hormones. Diabetes Care 36:1396–1405PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    Horowitz M, Rayner CK, Jones KL (2013) Mechanisms and clinical efficacy of lixisenatide for the management of type 2 diabetes. Adv Ther 30:81–101PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    Claessens M, Saris WH, van Baak MA (2008) Glucagon and insulin responses after ingestion of different amounts of intact and hydrolysed proteins. Br J Nutr 100:61–69PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Wu T, Bound MJ, Zhao BR et al (2013) Effects of a d-xylose preload with or without sitagliptin on gastric emptying, glucagon-like peptide-1, and postprandial glycemia in type 2 diabetes. Diabetes Care 36:1913–1918PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Monnier L, Lapinski H, Colette C (2003) Contributions of fasting and postprandial plasma glucose increments to the overall diurnal hyperglycemia of type 2 diabetic patients: variations with increasing levels of HbA1c. Diabetes Care 26:881–885PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christopher K. Rayner
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Jing Ma
    • 3
  • Karen L. Jones
    • 1
    • 2
  • Peter M. Clifton
    • 2
    • 4
  • Michael Horowitz
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Discipline of MedicineUniversity of Adelaide, Royal Adelaide HospitalAdelaideAustralia
  2. 2.Centre of Research Excellence in Translating Nutritional Science to Good HealthUniversity of AdelaideAdelaideAustralia
  3. 3.Endocrine and Metabolic Unit, Renji HospitalShanghai Jiao Tong UniversityShanghaiPeople’s Republic of China
  4. 4.School of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences, Sansom InstituteUniversity of South AustraliaAdelaideAustralia

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