Effects of whey proteins on glycaemia and insulinaemia to an oral glucose load in healthy adults; a dose-response study

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BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVES:Whey proteins have insulinogenic properties and the effect appears to be mediated from a postprandial plasma amino-acid (AA) response. The aim was to study the possible dose-response relationship between whey intake and glycaemic-, insulinaemic- and plasma AA responses.SUBJECTS/METHODS:Twelve healthy volunteers participated in the study. They were provided three whey protein drinks, containing 4.5, 9 or 18 g protein as breakfast meals in random order. All meals contained 25 g available carbohydrates (glucose). The same amount of glucose in water was used as reference.RESULTS:Linear dose-response relations were found between whey protein intake and postprandial glycaemia, insulinaemia and plasma AAs. The two highest doses, 18 g and 9 g, significantly reduced postprandial glycaemia (incremental area under the curve (iAUC) 0-120 min; P ≤ 0.05). The 18g dose significantly increased the insulin response (iAUC 0-120 min; P ≤ 0.05). All measured plasma AAs (15 in total), except glutamic acid, responded in a dose-dependent way, and the 9 and 18g doses resulted in significantly higher plasma levels of AAs compared with the reference.CONCLUSIONS:Whey protein affects glycaemia, insulinaemia and plasma AAs to a glucose load in a dose-dependent manner. Comparatively low doses of whey protein (9 g) reduced postprandial glycaemia significantly when added to a carbohydrate-rich meal.

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