Study under review: Effect of a low dose whey/guar preload on glycemic control in people with type 2 diabetes - a randomized controlled trial
Avoiding blood sugar spikes is a critical part of managing type 2 diabetes, since excess glucose in the blood can harm a variety of tissues in the body, from your eyes all the way down to your toes. While a variety of pharmaceutical and supplement options can help reduce blood sugar spikes, another effective option is right there in your food. Protein, fat, and fiber have all been found to lower glycemic response when consumed as part of a meal.
However, the problem with adding lots of fat to a meal in an effort to improve glycemic response is that because fat is calorically dense, the caloric content of the meal increases significantly. If this added fat doesn't increase satiety enough to result in lower caloric intake at subsequent meals and snacks, weight gain can result. People with type 2 diabetes often face health issues due to extra body fat, so they have to be careful with calorie intake. Some supplements on the market are intended to emulate dietary fat’s ability to increase satiety, but not all of them are effective.
The study under review aimed to determine the effectiveness of a low-calorie (80 calories per serving) drink made up of whey protein and guar gum. Guar is a soluble fiber supplement derived from the guar bean plant. Previous studies have examined the effect of whey protein and various fibers, like pectin and guar, on glycemic control. For example, a 55 gram whey protein preload has been shown to lower glucose by 3 mmol/L (54 mg/dL) in those with type 2 diabetes. In a previous study, guar delayed gastric emptying and decreased both glucose and insulin levels in people with type 2 diabetes.
The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of a drink containing guar (five grams) along with a lower dose of whey (17 grams) and lactose (three grams) on glycemic control. The type of whey wasn’t specified in the paper, so the lactose may have been part of a whey concentrate, or added separately for an unspecified reason.
The researchers hypothesized that the whey/guar combo would be as effective at lowering blood glucose as a larger 55 gram whey alone drink. This would mean around a 1 mmol/L (18 mg/dL) decrease in blood glucose, which would be a substantial reduction for type 2 diabetics or those at risk of the condition.
Other Articles in Issue #02 (December 2014)
- Interview: Bojan Kostevski, MD
Resveratrol and high-intensity interval training
Resveratrol supplementation does not augment performance adaptations or fiber-type–specific responses to high-intensity interval training in humans.
Diet: The whole is greater than the sum of its parts
Discussing the benefits of food (not just supplements) and diet on health, while examining our diet as a whole.
Of mice and guts (and exercise performance)
Effects of intestinal microbiota on exercise performance in mice.
Quantifying the effect of water intake on mood
Effect of changes in water intake on mood of high and lower water drinkers.
Don’t forget the cocoa
Enhancing dentate gyrus function with dietary flavanols improves cognition in older adults. Research shows that chocolate provides a variety of health benefits — many related to cardiovascular health.
Effects of omega-3s on brain function from infancy to old age
Effect of n-3 PUFA supplementation on cognitive function throughout the lifespan from infancy to old age: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials.
Gut bugs and fiber: A novel way to keep dyslipidemia at bay?
A systematic review and meta-analysis of the prebiotics and synbiotics effects on glycaemia, insulin concentrations and lipid parameters in adult patients with overweight or obesity.
Vitamin C and E supplementation may hinder strength training
Vitamin C and E supplementation alters protein signalling after a strength training session, but not muscle growth during 10 weeks of training.
Interview: Shou-Ching Jaminet, Ph.D., Cancer Researcher
Shou-Ching is a molecular biologist and cancer researcher at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School, and Director of BIDMC’s Multi-Gene Transcriptional Profiling Core.