Effects of acute ingestion of whey protein with or without prior aerobic exercise on postprandial glycemia in type 2 diabetics
Acute protein co-ingestion or a single bout of aerobic exercise can attenuate postprandial glycemia, but their combined effect has not been investigated in type 2 diabetics.
Using a randomised crossover design, male type 2 diabetics (n = 8) [mean (95% CI); age, 55.0 (45.2, 64.8) year; BMI, 33.7 (25.6, 41.8) kg·m− 2; 2 h glucose 14.0 (12.5, 15.5) mM] completed (1) 75 g oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) (CON); (2) OGTT supplemented with 0.33 g·kg BM− 1 of whey protein concentrate (PRO); or OGTT supplemented with PRO but preceded by a bout of aerobic cycling exercise (PRO + EX). Postprandial venous blood samples were collected for glucose, insulin, C-peptide and glucagon.
Despite a fold-increase of 1.90 (1.26, 2.56; p < 0.05) in postprandial insulin compared to CON, PRO failed to attenuate postprandial glycemia measured by 2 h glucose area under the curve. During PRO + EX, plasma glucose was elevated by 1.51 (0.5, 2.5) mM and 1.3 (0.3, 2.3) mM at 15 and 30 min, respectively, compared to CON, but was lower by 1.60 (0.6, 2.6) mM and 1.5 (0.5, 2.5) mM at 90 and 120 min, respectively (all p < 0.01). The additive effect of exercise and protein ingestion resulted in a fold-increase of 1.67 (1.35, 2.00; p < 0.05) in postprandial glucagon compared to CON.
In type 2 diabetics, prior aerobic exercise altered the humoral response to co-ingestion of whey protein with a carbohydrate load, but neither protein ingestion alone nor when preceded by prior exercise attenuated postprandial glycemia.
KeywordsDiabetes Glycemic control Nutrition Supplementation Ventilatory threshold
American Diabetes Association
Area under the curve (AUC).
Beats per minute
Branched-chain amino acids
Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry
Glucose-stimulated insulin secretion
Homeostatic model assessment-insulin resistance
Incremental area under the curve
Muscle protein synthesis
Normal glucose tolerant
Oral glucose insulin sensitivity
Oral glucose tolerance test
- PRO + EX
Whey protein preceded by aerobic exercise
Type 2 diabetes
Maximal oxygen uptake
The authors would like to thank all participants for their time, patience and dedication to the study. Dr. Cogan's present address is Section of Integrative Physiology, Department of Molecular Medicine & Surgery, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden.
KEC and BE designed the study. KEC collected and analysed data. KEC and BE interpreted results and wrote the manuscript. BE is the guarantor of this work.
This work was supported by Food for Health Ireland (F.H.I) and Enterprise Ireland (Grant no. TC2013001).
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors have no potential conflicts of interest to declare.
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