Scientists at Tel Aviv University in Israel report that taking whey protein isolates or concentrates may help treat type 2 diabetes and prevent obesity.
Whey protein, which accounts for 30 percent of the protein found in milk, is often used by weight lifters to help build muscle strength and bulk. It is readily available as a dietary supplement.
How whey protein works is by releasing peptides and amino acids in the digestive tract that stimulate production of several gut hormones that affect insulin secretion and the body’s food intake regulation.
The net effect is a higher level of insulin and a quicker feeling of eating satisfaction-two factors that can help in weight and blood glucose level control.
Another property the researchers found is that the peptides from whey protein may inhibit dipeptidyl peptidase (DPP-4) production in the digestive tract. DPP-4 degrades incretin, a gastrointestinal hormone that is crucial to insulin production.
Findings from the Israeli study have been published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry.