Whey makes diabetics healthier
Diabetics and pre-diabetics can use whey on a daily basis without any problems, without endangering their health. According to a meta-study published in 2020 in Lipids in Health and Disease, whey may even be healthy for them.
Biochemists at Kashan University of Medical Sciences in Iran traced 22 small RCTs in which diabetics and pre-diabetics received whey daily for 1-6 months while a control group received a placebo.
The doses tested varied widely. They ranged from almost nothing to 90 grams of whey per day.
Whey supplementation improved the subjects' insulin and glucose metabolism. Although whey had no effect on fasting plasma glucose, whey supplementation did reduce insulin levels and the concentration of HBA1c in the blood. In addition, the HOMA-IR, a measure of the degree of insulin resistance, decreased.
The lipids also improved with whey supplementation. In particular, the concentration of triglycerides decreased.
The researchers found no evidence of bias in the studies they used for their meta-analysis. It therefore does not appear that studies with less favorable outcomes are gathering dust in a desk drawer somewhere. But because the studies they could use for their meta-analysis are a bit of a mixed bag, the researchers await the results of large RCTs before they definitively conclude that diabetologists can use whey in their treatment.
On the other hand, this meta-study is already interesting for diabetics who train with weights and wonder whether their illness might make them react incorrectly to whey. The answer to this question is 'no'.
Lipids Health Dis. 2020 Sep 21;19(1):209.
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Insulin & Glucose Metabolism