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Whey protein isolates or concentrates may help fight obesity, type 2 diabetes

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By Jimmy Downs

Monday Sept 23, 2012 (foodconsumer.org) -- From time to time, research suggests that consumption of milk and dairy products may help prevent weight gain or obesity or event prevent type 2 diabetes.  A report in Journal of Nutrition an Biochemistry suggests that taking whey protein isolate or whey protein concentrates may  help treat type 2 diabetes mellitus and prevent obesity.

Whey protein accounts for 30 percent of total protein in milk and the remaining 70 percent is casein.  Whey protein isolate and whey protein concentrates are commonly used by bodybuilders to build muscles.

D. Jakubowicz and O. Froy of Tel Aviv University in Holon, Israel, the authors, say that recent studies have shown whey protein has beneficial  insulinotropic and glucose-lowering properties in both healthy and type 2 diabetes mellitus individuals.

What whey protein does is that it releases bioactive peptides and amino acids upon being digested in the gastrointestinal tract.  These amino acids and peptides promote the releasing of several gut hormones including cholecystokinin, peptide YY and the incretins gastric inhibitory peptide, and glucagon-like peptide 1 that potentiate insulin secretion from β-cells and are linked with regulation of food intake.

Additionally, these whey protein derived bioactive peptides may also function as endogenous inhibitors of dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) in the proximal gut, preventing incretin degradation, which is good for type 2 diabetes mellitus management. 

Recent research identified DPP-4 inhibitors in whey protein hydrolysates, which confirms that the anti-obesity and anti-diabetic properties are not pure speculation or observation.

Whey protein in forms of whey protein hydrolysates and whey protein concentrates is readily available as dietary supplements.  In addition to their potential benefits for people with type 2 diabetes mellitus, these products can help maintain muscle health including help repair muscle damage induced during physical exercise.

For individuals who do not use animal products yet want to maintain muscle health, they may use supplements of branched chain amino acids, leucine, isoleucine and valine.  These amino acids are helpful when a person uses a protein-restricted diet.

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